Phineas Finn

Phineas Finn

Paperback - 2011
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The second novel in Trollope's Palliser series, Phineas Finn's engaging plot embraces matters as diverse as reform, the position of women, the Irish question, and the conflict between integrity and ambition. Through the engaging figure of the handsome Irishman Phineas Finn, Trollope explores the realities of political life, and the clash between compromise and conviction, that is as topical today as it was in the 1860s. In his introduction, Simon Dentith looks at the British political context and the interwoven strands of politics, the rights of women, and their struggle for equality in marriage. He also considers the novel's interesting publishing history and Trollope's own parliamentary ambitions. One appendix outlines the internal chronology of the series, providing a unique understanding of the six novels as a linked narrative, and a second appendix describes the passage of the second Reform Act of 1867, a controversial measure that extended the franchise and was the subject of heated Conservative and Liberal debate. In addition, there is a biography of Trollope and a chronology of his life as well as extensive notes. - Publisher.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011
Edition: New ed
ISBN: 9780199581436
Branch Call Number: TROLLOPE A
Characteristics: xxxv, 594 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Dentith, Simon


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Mar 29, 2011

Of Trollope's novels this is perhaps the one that Canadians should particularly read. That is because the title character, Phineas Finn, is an ambitious young Member of Parliament who during the course of the novel rises to the position of Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. As such it is his job in the Commons to represent the colonial policies of his boss, who is in the House of Lords during a period of crucial interest to Canadians from 1865 to 1868, the period of the Fenian Raids, Confederation, and the start of building the transcontinental railway. This is a novel, so specific pieces of legislation other than those critical to the plot: the 2nd Electoral Reform Act (which doubled the number of eligible electors and eliminated most "pocket boroughs"), and the first attempt to pass an Irish Tenant's Rights bill, are not discussed, but among those bills that Phineas Finn MP would have had to move through the Commons would have been the British North America Act, which created Canada.


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