The Duke's Children is a novel by Anthony Trollope, first published in 1879 as a serial in All the Year Round. It is the sixth and last novel of the "Palliser" series.
The plot concerns the children of the Duke of Omnium, Plantagenet Palliser, and his late wife, Lady Glencora. When Lady Glencora dies unexpectedly, the Duke is left to deal with his grownup children, with whom he has a somewhat distant relationship. As the government in which he is Prime Minister has also fallen, the Duke is left bereft of both his beloved wife and his political position.
Before her death, Lady Glencora had imprudently given her secret blessing to her daughter Mary's courtship by a poor gentleman, Frank Tregear, a friend of Lord Silverbridge, the Duke's oldest son and heir. Madame Max, Lady Glencora's dearest confidante, somewhat uneasily remains after the funeral as a companion and unofficial chaperone for Mary at the Duke's request. Once she becomes aware of the seriousness of the relationship between Mary and Frank, Madame Max insists that the Duke be informed.
The Duke's two sons also prove burdensome. Lord Silverbridge follows the wishes of his father by entering Parliament. He had proposed to Lady Mabel Grex, whom he has known all his life. She had turned him down, although with an indication of a more welcoming answer another time. Lord Silverbridge however becomes enamoured with an American heiress instead. She however will only marry him if the Duke is willing to welcome her into the family. At first, Plantagenet disapproves, and he disapproves even more of his daughter's suitor. Furthermore, the younger son, Gerald, gets himself expelled from Cambridge over a prank gone wrong, thus adding to his father's troubles.
However, by the end of the book, the Duke grows closer to all three of his children; he allows the engagements of both son and daughter, and as the book ends, he is invited once more to take a part in the government.
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