Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was born in London to a bankrupt barrister father and a mother who, as a well-known writer, supported the family. Trollope enjoyed considerable acclaim both as a novelist and as a senior civil servant in the Post Office. He published more than forty novels and many short stories that are regarded by some as among the greatest of nineteenth-century fiction.
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.