Covering the first book in the series, Can You Forgive Her?, in which Glencora and Plantagenet marry, and set the scene for the whole saga.
Can You Forgive Her?
Plantagenet Palliser meets Lady Glencora M’Cluskie at a garden party given by his uncle the Duke of Omnium. She is in love with Burgo Fitzgerald. He is attracted to Griselda, Lady Dumbello. But they are forced into a union by their elders.
On their wedding tour in Switzerland, Planty and Glencora meet Alice Vavasor with her father and her cousins Kate and George Vavasor. George needs Alice’s fortune to finance his election campaign in Chelsea, while Burgo Fitzgerald, who tries to arrange a meeting with Glencora in Basle, is also after funds to finance an attempt to steal Glencora.
Alice joins the Pallisers at Matching Priory but offends Plantagenet when she goes walking in the Priory ruins with Glencora at night. She breaks off her engagement to John Grey and becomes engaged to George Vavasor for the second time. Glencora surprises Plantagenet when she refuses to accompany him to Lady Monk’s party where she fears meeting Burgo.
George Vavasor gets into Parliament with the help of Alice’s money. Burgo’s attempt to seduce Glencora also comes close to success. Planty is widely tipped as the next Chancellor.
George Vavasor’s financial hopes suffer a setback. Planty and Glencora set out for the continent with Alice.
Meeting Burgo Glencora persuades Plantagenet to help him. Meeting Alice, John Grey persuades her finally to accept his love. Discovering she is pregnant, Glencora returns to England where a new Irish MP, Phineas Finn, is making a great impression, particularly on ladies like Madame Max and Lady Laura.
© British Broadcasting Corporation 1974. The Pallisers Radio Times Special