Unscrupulous financial speculator Ferdinand Lopez, aspiring to marry into respectability and wealth, has society at his feet: well-connected ladies vying with each other to exert influence on his behalf. Even Lady Glencora, the wife of Plantagenet Palliser, prime minister of England, supports the exotic imposter. Palliser, respectable man of power and inherited wealth, is appalled by the rise of this man who seemingly appeared out of nowhere. When Lopez achieves his socially advantageous marriage, Palliser must decide whether to stand by his wife's support for Lopez in a by-election or leave him to face exposure as a fortune-hunting adventurer. This fifth installment in Trollope's six-volume Palliser series is a brilliantly subtle portrait of love, marriage, and politics.