Phineas Finn: The Irish Member

By Anthony Trollope
Read by Simon Vance

The Palliser Novels: Book 2

22.55 Hours 12/29/2000 unabridged
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Phineas Finn is an Irish MPA who is climbing the political ladder, largely through the assistance of his string of lovers. The questions he is forced to ask himself about honesty, independence, and parliamentary democracy are questions still asked today. Phineas Finn is the second of Anthony Trollope’s six Palliser novels, which together comprise a large, coherent composition that captures the fashions, manners, and politics of two decades of society in the high Victorian period. Trollope’s unrivaled understanding of the institutions of mid–Victorian England and his sympathetic vision of human fallibility are informed by an unobtrusive irony that shines in these stories.

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Summary

Summary

Phineas Finn is an Irish MPA who is climbing the political ladder, largely through the assistance of his string of lovers. The questions he is forced to ask himself about honesty, independence, and parliamentary democracy are questions still asked today.

Phineas Finn is the second of Anthony Trollope’s six Palliser novels, which together comprise a large, coherent composition that captures the fashions, manners, and politics of two decades of society in the high Victorian period. Trollope’s unrivaled understanding of the institutions of mid–Victorian England and his sympathetic vision of human fallibility are informed by an unobtrusive irony that shines in these stories.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The polished excitement that animates [Vance’s] reading comes across richly and compels the listener’s attention.” AudioFile
“This gracefully written work is perfectly read by [Vance], who successfully evokes the Victorian era.” Booklist
“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...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.” Oxford University Press
“The central tension in Trollope’s novel Phineas Finn is between independence and service. The title character is an Irish outsider who comes into Parliament vowing to be true to his individual conscience…Finn has to either chart his own course or allow himself to be put in harness for the good of the common effort.” New York Times

Reviews

Reviews

by Kenneth 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

An apealing character

As I have commented on other reviews of Trollope's books, his characters and dramatic situations tend to be narrowly focused. You will encounter people in financial distress in his books, but you will almost never encounter the kind of poverty found in the pages of Dickens, or other writers of that era. None of the writers of this era believed in brevity, and the verbosity in Trollope is often repetitive. Phineas Finn, for all that, is one of Trollope's most appealing creations. He is a lower middle-class Irishman elected to the British Parliament as a young man. Women flock to him, and he returns the interests of several of them. He even fights a duel over one of the women he pursues. The other dueler remains a close friend to Finn, in spite of all that. There is, by the way, no dueling scene. That part of the story is narrated second-hand, mostly. If you want fire, smoke and dead bodies in your reading, Trollope is not the writer for you. With reservations, however, this is a worthwhile book.
Simon Vance does his usual outstanding job reading the story. Vance really keeps interest up, which, given the surplus of words in this book, is a fine achievement.

Author

Author Bio: Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope (1815–1882) grew up in London. He inherited his mother’s ambition to write and was famously disciplined in the development of his craft. His first novel was published in 1847 while he was working in Ireland as a surveyor for the General Post Office. He wrote series of books set in the English countryside as well as those set in the political life, works that show great psychological penetration. One of his greatest strengths was his ability to re-create in his fiction his own vision of the social structures of Victorian England. The author of forty-seven novels, he was one of the most prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 22.55
Audience: Adult
Language: English