'though a great many men and not a few women knew Ferdinand Lopez very well, none of them knew whence he had come' Despite his mysterious antecedents, Ferdinand Lopez aspires to join the ranks of British society. An unscrupulous financial speculator, he determines to marry into respectability and wealth, much against the wishes of his prospective father-in-law. One of the nineteenth century's most memorable outsiders, Lopez's story is set against that of the ultimate insider, Plantagenet Palliser, Duke of Omnium. Omnium reluctantly accepts the highest office of state; now, at last, he is 'the greatest man in the greatest country in the world'. But his government is a fragile coalition and his wife's enthusiastic assumption of the role of political hostess becomes a source of embarrassment. Their troubled relationship and that of Lopez and Emily Wharton is a conjunction that generates one of Trollope's most complex and substantial novels. Part of the Palliser series, The Prime Minister 's tale of personal and political life in the 1870s has acquired a new topicality in the early twenty-first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.