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Extended Audio Sample The Duke’s Children Audiobook, by Anthony Trollope Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,132 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Trollope Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Palliser Novels Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781470806910
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The brilliant conclusion to the Palliser novels, this touching story follows the elderly Duke of Omnium, the former prime minister of England, as he struggles to overcome his grief at the loss of his beloved wife, Lady Glencora. To complicate matters, he must also deal with the willfulness of his three adult children as he tries to guide and support them—his plans for them are quite different from their own.

While his two sons, sent down from university in disgrace, rack up gambling debts, the duke’s only daughter yearns to marry the poor son of a country squire. Though the duke’s noble plans for his children are ultimately thwarted, he comes to realize that parents can learn from their children as well.

This final Palliser novel is a tale of love, family relationships, loyalty, and principles, as well as a compelling exploration of wealth, pride, and the strength of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Duke’s Children remains a comedy, beginning with a death and ending with marriages. For all its sobriety, it is among the most optimistic of Trollope’s novels. The duke is thwarted, but he is also educated, and his story reflects Trollope’s faith that parents can and should learn from their inheritors.”

    Dinah Birch, professor of English literature, University of Liverpool

  • “The only duke whom all of us know.”

    Westminster Review

  • “[This] dramatic essay, if we may so term it, upon the aristocratic principle, in its relation to politics, society, and morality, possesses an interest which few or none besides Mr. Trollope could have imparted to it.”

    Spectator (London), 1880

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hazel | 2/18/2014

    " This was not entirely satisfactory as an ending to the series. Three stars perhaps for the whole Palliser story. Don't you love the Duke? So flawed, yet so admirable. Trollope knew something of human nature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sasha | 2/16/2014

    " Trollope wrote a great many books during his lifetime, so it is not surprising some were a little mediocre. Unfortunately The Duke's Children is one of them. There is a shameless re-hashing of plots and characters, with just a little twist of each to keep him from completely plagiarizing himself. Having said that, however, I will persist with the book because even characters that pale in comparison with those in the earlier Palliser novels are interesting enough for me to follow to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Flora | 2/15/2014

    " The final in the Palliser series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianna | 2/11/2014

    " This was a hard slog. Having read the previous five books of the Palliser Novels, the final book was often repeating themes and storylines from the earlier books. Further, the development of the character of Plantagenet Palliser (the Duke) was painstaking, as he is very stubborn and unable to admit he is wrong, until it is proved to him - and then he will admit it, but feels wounded. Eventually, the story of the children becomes individual to them, and it was interesting enough to finish. On its own, I think this book would be great, but following the series, I couldn't sustain much interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/30/2014

    " This is the sixth and final novel in the Trollope's Palliser series. The children of Plantagenet Palliser and Lady Glencora (Duke and Duchess of Omnium) are now entering into adulthood. That presents Trollope with familiar material: parents' concerns about children's marriages (usually resolved with the parent becoming reconciled to the child's choice) and difficulties between fathers and sons (complicated here by differing political alliances). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dona | 1/29/2014

    " Sadly, this was the last of the Palliser novels. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the entire series and am struggling to find something else long and as enjoyable as this series has been. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julianna | 1/29/2014

    " This was a hard slog. Having read the previous five books of the Palliser Novels, the final book was often repeating themes and storylines from the earlier books. Further, the development of the character of Plantagenet Palliser (the Duke) was painstaking, as he is very stubborn and unable to admit he is wrong, until it is proved to him - and then he will admit it, but feels wounded. Eventually, the story of the children becomes individual to them, and it was interesting enough to finish. On its own, I think this book would be great, but following the series, I couldn't sustain much interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 1/25/2014

    " This book brings and end for now to my Trollope obsession! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Al | 1/14/2014

    " The Duke of Omnium, in the wake of his wife's death, confronts two parental nightmares: A son who wishes to marry someone socially below him, and a daughter who wishes to marry a penniless suitor who will be living off her money. The Duke's ability to deal with these problems is complicated by his strong sense of class responsibility and privilege, and the fact that he has a somewhat distant relationship with both children. Although set in late nineteenth England, the themes are universal. As usual, Trollope excels in defining his characters. The reader can relate to all of them, and to their progress in working through their issues. The world of aristocratic England and the motivations thereof are perhaps hard for modern folk to comprehend, and it's a tribute to Trollope that he brings them to life and makes them credible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Rork | 1/10/2014

    " What will I do without the Pallisers everyday? Goodbye, Duke. What Trollope should I read next? I've read all of the Barsets and Pallisers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayoun | 1/10/2014

    " Thanks for 5 or 6 years of fun with Pallisers and their friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Flora | 1/8/2014

    " The final in the Palliser series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky Weaver | 1/5/2014

    " More of what we read Trollope for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/2/2014

    " Seemed like a strange finish to the series, but I LOVED these books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Alice | 12/19/2013

    " OK. But I prefer the Duke to his children "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 12/17/2013

    " Great finish to the Palliser series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara | 12/17/2013

    " The interactions between the Duke and Mrs. Finn make this book for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 11/30/2013

    " This is #6 in the Palliser Novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyllida | 11/24/2013

    " Finally finished my Trollope marathon today. I started with The Warden in October last year and finished today with The Duke's Children. It was good but I am looking forward to some lighter reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 11/15/2013

    " Sigh...the last of the Palliser novels. What a long, satisfying read for those who love Victorian literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 10/26/2013

    " Least favorite, as Planty and Glencora fade. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 9/27/2013

    " Least favorite, as Planty and Glencora fade. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 9/6/2013

    " Sigh...the last of the Palliser novels. What a long, satisfying read for those who love Victorian literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara | 7/29/2013

    " The interactions between the Duke and Mrs. Finn make this book for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Mackie | 2/26/2013

    " Certainly, this is a book well worth reading; you need loose ends tied up and all...but it feels slightly anticlimactic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ange | 1/20/2013

    " Reading these Palliser Novels out of order. This is the last. Oh well. Enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K. | 1/13/2013

    " Very wonderful finish to Trollope's Palliser series. Wish I had time to review. I think Trollope was a master at character crafting. If a reader of this series wasn't totally in love with the Duke before this book, surely that reader will be by the end! Wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie | 12/20/2012

    " The last of the Palliser novels. Good, but my least favorite of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Victor | 10/28/2012

    " A nice end to the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ange | 10/10/2012

    " Reading these Palliser Novels out of order. This is the last. Oh well. Enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/1/2012

    " Seemed like a strange finish to the series, but I LOVED these books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 9/30/2012

    " This is #6 in the Palliser Novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayoun | 4/11/2012

    " Thanks for 5 or 6 years of fun with Pallisers and their friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 K. | 3/29/2012

    " Very wonderful finish to Trollope's Palliser series. Wish I had time to review. I think Trollope was a master at character crafting. If a reader of this series wasn't totally in love with the Duke before this book, surely that reader will be by the end! Wonderful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky Weaver | 1/14/2012

    " More of what we read Trollope for. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Mackie | 12/21/2011

    " Certainly, this is a book well worth reading; you need loose ends tied up and all...but it feels slightly anticlimactic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hazel | 10/24/2011

    " This was not entirely satisfactory as an ending to the series. Three stars perhaps for the whole Palliser story. Don't you love the Duke? So flawed, yet so admirable. Trollope knew something of human nature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Rork | 10/2/2011

    " What will I do without the Pallisers everyday? Goodbye, Duke. What Trollope should I read next? I've read all of the Barsets and Pallisers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 9/10/2011

    " This book brings and end for now to my Trollope obsession! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chad | 7/25/2011

    " Great finish to the Palliser series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 11/30/2010

    " Seemed like a strange finish to the series, but I LOVED these books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 3/20/2010

    " More of what we read Trollope for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 12/3/2009

    " Sigh...the last of the Palliser novels. What a long, satisfying read for those who love Victorian literature. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 7/30/2008

    " This is #6 in the Palliser Novels. "

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About the Author
Author 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.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.