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The Prime Minister (Palliser #5)
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The Trollope Project - Archives > The Prime Minister Dec 9-15: Ch 65-72

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message 1: by Frances, Moderator (last edited Dec 13, 2018 03:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Frances (francesab) | 1818 comments Mod
Sorry for the late posting-I hope you are all ready with your comments!

In this section we see Arthur and Emily's first meetings after she becomes a widow, and we see the coalition on the verge of dissolving. There is also a great change in Everett's position in life-he has been elevated to the Heir to the title and property of Wharton.

We have, in chapter 68, and interesting political discussion between The Duke of Omnium and Phineas on what Liberalism really means, a movement towards equality, possibly to be achieved the Millennium, which I have perhaps rashly named, is so distant that we might not even think of it as possible.

"Equality is a dream. But sometimes one likes to dream,-especially as there is no danger that Matching will fly from me in a dream. I doubt whether I could bear the test that has been attempted in other countries....That poor ploughman would hardly get his share, Duke...No;-that's where it is. We can only do a little and a little to bring it nearer to us;-so little that it won't touch Matching in our day. Here is her ladyship and the ponies. i don't think her ladyship would like to lose her ponies by my doctrine,"

How fortunate that their ideals will not necessarily cause them or their families any hardship or loss in the foreseeable future, but at least they are working slowly towards a more equitable society.

message 2: by Brian (last edited Dec 12, 2018 09:05PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Reynolds | 701 comments In the last discussion Frances said:

"I didn't feel that Emily was acting the martyr because of having had her spirit broken (although it is always hard to judge from the outside) but rather that she can never forgive herself for having made such a poor choice, particularly in the face of her family's counsel against it, and so will never allow herself any further happiness."

I agree that as the book went further on after Lopez's demise, it became more evident that Emily's 'self-martyrdom is really self-castigation due to what Frances describes. It's as if she's hitting herself and saying "what a stupid" over and over. I can certainly identify with that feeling and reasoning.

message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda | 207 comments I agree with your observations. In addition, I think that Emily felt ashamed because in trying to be a dutiful wife, she initially allowed her judgement to be clouded and behaved dishonorably. For example in asking her father for money and in suspecting him of not being honest with Lopez about her inheritance. That she allowed herself to behave despicably is a major factor in her belief she would bring shame to Arthur if they married.

message 4: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 2803 comments Mod
I really hope that Emily stops beating herself up over her past mistakes. She made a big mistake in marrying Lopez, but she was young and he was a charmer. She is being too hard on herself.

I can see that Planty is slowly realizing that his term as Prime Minister will be coming to an end. And Glencora has actually grown tired of all the guests and parties.

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