Anthony Trollope

The Pallisers
  • The Pallisers

    • Anthony Trollope

    • Jessica Raine (Read by)

    • Tim McMullan (Read by)

    • Edward MacLiam (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • Melody Grove (Read by)

    A BBC radio adaptation of the celebrated novels about high life and low politics in Victorian England

    ‘Beautifully acted and presented at a gallop … one of the most entertainingly vivid radio dramas I have listened to all year’ The Telegraph

    In this lively, radical reworking of Anthony Trollope’s famous ‘Palliser’ series, we are invited into the world of our omniscient narrator, Lady Glencora, as she introduces us to her social circle and takes us on a whirlwind tour through two decades of scandal, scheming, ambition and political powerbroking.

    Cora’s story starts in the 1860s, when she is just nineteen, and married to the older, conscientious politician Plantagenet Palliser. Bored and unhappy, she pines for her ex-fiancé, the wastrel Burgo Fitzgerald. However, motherhood and maturity put an end to her youthful dreams – and as her husband’s career takes off, she settles for becoming the power behind the throne. But she cannot control her children’s futures, however much she tries to guide and protect them.

    Nor can Cora shape her friends’ lives. Clever, politics-obsessed heiress Violet Standish, denied the opportunity to be a Member of Parliament, aspires to marry one instead – will her chosen husband listen to her advice? Newly-elected MP Phineas Finn sets his sights on a Cabinet post – but could his strict principles and weakness for the fairer sex count against him? And wealthy Bohemian widow Marie Goesler is determined to be accepted into the higher echelons of society – might a match with the elderly Duke of Omnium provide the prestige she seeks?

    From her unique vantage point, Cora watches her nearest and dearest take fateful decisions, make rash mistakes – and even get away with murder, as they struggle to win power and find love...

    This bold, pacy adaptation of Trollope’s ‘Palliser’ series stars Jessica Raine as Cora, Tim McMullan as Plantagenet, Edward MacLiam as Phineas and Melody Grove as Marie.

    Written by Anthony Trollope
    Dramatised by Mike Harris and Sharon Oakes
    Directed by Gary Brown and Emma Harding
    Produced by Gary Brown

    Cast
    Cora – Jessica Raine
    Plantagenet – Tim McMullan
    Phineas Finn – Edward MacLiam
    Burgo – Blake Ritson
    Violet/Servant – Scarlett Courtney
    Marie Goesler – Melody Grove
    Kennedy/Slide/Duke/Orlando Drought/Mr Boncasson – Neil McCaul
    Bonce/Grimes/Sailor/Servant/Popplecourt – Greg Jones
    Commons Speaker/Judge – Hamilton Berstock
    Mary Flood – Sinead MacInnes
    Finn's mother – Heather Craney
    Servant/Policeman/Usher/Johnson/Nidderdale – Ikky Elyas
    Bonteen/ Sir Gregory – Eugene O’Hare
    Lowe – Jonathan Keeble
    Fawn – Lloyd Peters
    Lopez – Mark Arends
    Emily Drought – Lucy Reynolds
    Spurgeon – Clive Hayward
    Mary – Laura Christy
    Silverbridge – Will Kirk
    Lady Mabel – Anneika Rose
    Tregear – Prasanna Puwanarajah
    Isabel – Julianna Jennings
    Mrs Boncasson – Jessica Turner
    Tifto – Sam Dale

    First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 10 November 2019-8 March 2020

Anthony Trollope was born on 24 April 1815 and attended both Harrow and Winchester schools. His family were poor and eventually were forced to move to Belgium, where his father died. His mother, Frances Trollope, supported the family through writing. Trollope began a life-long career in the civil service with a position as a clerk in the General Post Office in London – he is also credited with later introducing the pillar box. He published his first novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran in 1847, but his fourth novel, The Warden (1855) began the series of 'Barsetshire' novels for which he was to become best known. This series of five novels featuring interconnecting characters spanned twenty years of Trollope's career as a novelist, as did the 'Palliser' series. He wrong over 47 novels in total, as well as short stories, biographies, travel books and his own autobiography, which was published posthumously in 1883. Trollope resigned from the Post Office in 1867 and stood for Parliament as a Liberal, though he was not elected. He died on 6 December 1882.