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Phineas Redux (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – November 28, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The reader who does not wish to read the books in order of composition would lose little by not having read Can You Forgive Her and The Eustace Diamonds. However, not to have read Phineas Finn would create some slight proplems because Finn's behavior in that first book is often mentioned in the second. Even so, it is possible to read Phineas Redux as a stand alone novel and derive much pleasure from the experience.
If we remove the boring Pariliamentary debates concerning the disestablishment of the Church of England, what remains is one of the most delightful of all English novels. Trollope is a great writer and he is at the top of his form in much of Phineas Redux. Particularly moving and convincing is the story of Lady Laura Kennedy, who loves Finn but is married to Robert Kennedy, a man she comes to hate and despise. She leaves Kennedy and takes up residence in Dresden to put herself out of the reach of her increasingly desperate and derranged husband. Finn once loved Lady Laura enough to have proposed to her, but she chose Kennedy and ended any chance she might have had to marry Finn. Even so, her love for Finn remains strong and true. This is a sad and moving story; Trollope is at the height of his powers in the telling of it.
The centerpiece of the novel is the trial of Finn for the murder of Mr. Bonteen, Finn's enemy. Trollope creates no mystery here. We know Finn is not guilty and we are given to believe that another enemy of Bonteen, the Reverend Mr.Read more ›
"Phineas Brought Back" (as the title means) really brings back Phineas Finn with a vengeance. The handsome, sincere young Irishman has always been a favorite with the ladies. In the first novel he was wounded by a jealous rival; in this one he is fired at by another and has his name scandalized in a newspaper. The high point of the novel is his trial for the murder of a political enemy.
Trollope's genius for character development is superb in these 2 novels. Phineas grows from a naive political novice into a highly capable government official, but his conscientiousness keeps him from playing party politics and causes problems with other members of his party. Phineas maintains his total honesty, a trait which frequently is to his detriment in the real world. His reactions to his imprisonment, trial, and acquittal are exactly right, so perfectly true to the character which Trollope has built up through hundreds of pages.
At the end of the novel, Phineas is still Phineas, but he is a much wiser and sadly disillusioned man. However, he receives the reward of a splendid mate, a woman who is truly worthy of him and whom he now has matured enough to appreciate. If only he had married her when she proposed to him in the first novel! But then none of his engrossing problems would have occurred.
This is one of Trollope's most exciting novels, a true page-turner in the trial sequence. As always, every characterization is extremely well done by one of the world's greatest authors.
By all estimations, PHINEAS FINN, while a thoroughly enjoyable novel, ended badly. So badly, that Trollope felt compelled essentially to delete the ending of the former novel, and provide a new ending in the form of a novel to correct the error of his ways. In his AUTOBIOGRAPHY, Trollope expresses his extreme dissatisfaction with the ending of that novel. Happily, he more than atones for his literary sins with the sequel.
This novel, like its predecessor, is set against the background of a great political reform. In the former, it was suffrage (i.e., how many people would be given the right to vote), in this one, the disestablishment of the Church of England (i.e., breaking the tie of mandatory local taxes to support the Anglican Church). Perhaps for this reason, Phineas Finn's Catholicism, which was not alluded to in the former novel, is made much of. The same cast of parliamentary characters are brought back for this new controversy. One curiosity is that sometimes Trollope refers by name to the achievements of members of parliament such as Gladstone, Disraeli, or John Bright. What is odd about this is the fact that Gresham is pretty transparently based on Gladstone, Daubeny on Disraeli, and Trumbull on John Bright.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The second novel of six Paliser novels, Phineas does have it moments, but the book is a slog to go through. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Melvyn Glenn
If you loved "Phineas Finn" by Anthony Trollope, you will love this story as well, just because Phineas is so endearing. Be sure to read all the Paliser series.Published 14 months ago by Susan O'Connell
First a warning: Phineas Redux is the fourth of the Trollope's Palliser novels and, while the six novels in the series can otherwise be read independently, this is an exception,... Read morePublished 17 months ago by reader 451
The marriage we all wanted happens.... and the surprise is how surprised Trollope makes you about it, even on the second reading.Published on October 19, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I returned this item. Don't be hasty like me, pay attention to the description. I thought I was getting what I was seeing.Published on April 21, 2013 by Robyne L. Barth
Publishers would do readers a great service if they were to edit monstrous tomes like this which were originally published in serial form in the 19th century and are repetitive,... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by John Fitzpatrick
This is volume 4 of Anthony Trollope's Palliser series. it is a very good read and extremely entertaining, as are all the novels in this series. Read morePublished on September 15, 2012 by Tony Marquise Jr.
I really enjoyed Phineas Finn (four-stars) and looked forward to his continuing adventures. As the French say: "be careful what you wish for... Read morePublished on June 14, 2011 by Laurence R. Bachmann
I'm slowly rereading Trollope's political novels and just finished #4, Phineas Redux. In the first Phineas book the likeable (maybe one of Trollope's most likeable characters)... Read morePublished on August 28, 2010 by Four Bears