The Last Chronicle of Palliser: The Duke’ s Children

  • John Halperin


In the Autobiography, Trollope concludes his discussion of The Prime Minister with these words: “I have an idea that I shall even yet once more have recourse to my political hero as the mainstay of another story” (p. 310). Trollope had more than simply “an idea” when he wrote these words. The Duke’s Children (All the Year Round, October 1879–July 1880; published in three volumes in 1880) was finished in 1876 but put away for three years when The Prime Minister failed so dismally. The last Palliser novel was not a popular success either (Trollope’ s accountants in the venture lost £ 120, which the novelist offered to repay1), but it was received by the critics with enthusiasm; and in recent years, though it remains one of Trollope’s more neglected novels, The Duke’s Children has been treated with respect and admiration by the few critics who have dealt with it.


Prime Minister Ideal Politician Party Leader Young Lady Personal Dignity 


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  1. 3.
    See John H. Hagan, “The Duke’s Children: Trollope’s Psychological Masterpiece,” NCF, 12 (June 1958), 1–21, and Polhemus, pp. 219–31. The quoted phrase is taken from Hagan, 21. Snow, p. 115, calls Lady Mabel “one of the best women in fiction.”Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    At least twice — once aboard ship travelling from America to England in 1875, and again in 1877 at the home of Lord Houghton. My information comes from Leon Edel, Henry James: The Conquest of London 1870–1883 (London, 1962), passim. The quotation in the text above from Polhemus is taken from p. 228.Google Scholar
  3. 22.
    The quotations in the text just above are taken from Blake, pp. 247 and 368. See also Lord Malmesbury, Memoirs of an Ex-Minister, 2 vols. (London, 1884), II, p. 45.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Halperin 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Halperin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaUSA

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