Phineas Finn the Irish Member
'Phineas Finn the Irish Member ' Summary
At first, the idea seems absurd. Finn is supported solely by a modest allowance from his father, but a stroke of luck clears his path. One of his father's patients is Lord Tulla, a nobleman who controls Loughshane, a little borough that can be contested cheaply. Lord Tulla has had a falling out with his brother, the long-time officeholder. As a result, while the staunchly Tory lord will not support the Whig Finn, neither will he hamper him. Convincing his sceptical father to provide the funds needed, Finn wins his seat by a small margin.
The closest of his London friends is his mentor, Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of the prominent Whig politician Lord Brentford. As their relationship develops, Finn considers asking for her hand in marriage, despite the great social and financial gulf between them. Lady Laura senses this, but despite her partiality for the man, monetary considerations and her own political ambitions convince her to marry the dour, extremely wealthy Robert Kennedy instead.
At first devastated, Finn soon recovers and becomes enamoured of a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham. This proves to be awkward, as both Lady Laura and Lord Brentford vehemently want her to marry (and hopefully tame) Lord Brentford's estranged son, the savage Lord Chiltern. In addition, Lady Laura encourages Finn to become acquainted with her brother. Finn and Chiltern become fast friends, which makes the situation even more uncomfortable. When Chiltern finds out that Finn is also courting Violet, he becomes infuriated and unreasonably demands that Finn withdraw. When he refuses, Chiltern insists on a duel. This is held in secret at Blankenberg, resulting in Finn being slightly wounded. Eventually, Violet has to choose between her two main suitors; she somewhat fearfully decides in favour of her childhood sweetheart, Chiltern.
Meanwhile, Finn's parliamentary career gets off to a rocky start. Overawed by his august surroundings, he delivers a somewhat incoherent maiden speech. Eventually, however, he becomes accustomed to his situation and grows adept at parliamentary proceedings. All is not smooth sailing however. When new elections are called, Finn is in a dilemma. Lord Tulla has become reconciled with his brother and Finn seemingly has no chance of re-election. At this point, fortune favours him once again.
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