The Eustace Diamonds is the least political of the Palliser novels, and only features a brief appearance by Lady Glencora. For the television adaptation, the storyline of The Eustace Diamonds is run concurrently with Phineas Redux, one of the most dramatic Palliser novels.
The Eustace Diamonds and Phineas Redux
The Eustace Diamonds vanish as Lizzie is obeying a court order to bring them to London. Distressed by the scandal and gossip, Lord Fawn tries to disentangle himself from Lizzie to pay court to Madame Max.
The mystery of the Eustace Diamonds is cleared up and Lizzie marries the Reverend Emilius. Lord Fawn proposes to Marie (Madame Max) only to be sent packing. Phineas Finn makes a political comeback but is handicapped by the enmity of Bonteen and his continuing involvement with Lady Laura, who has taken refuge from Kennedy in Germany.
Phineas spends Christmas with Laura and her father only to be assaulted by Kennedy on his return and accused of adultery by Quintus Slide. Omnium dies and Planty and Glencora become the new Duke and Duchess.
Glencora engineers Bonteen’s downfall as favourite for the Chancellorship, but in doing so ensures that Phineas will never gain office while Bonteen has the power to prevent him. Glencora also plans to marry her cousin Adelaide Palliser to Lord Fawn, but Adelaide falls in love with Gerard Maule.
Bonteen discovers that Emilius had a previous wife in Prague, so his marriage to Lizzie Eustace was bigamous. Phineas and Bonteen have an ugly quarrel at the Beargarden Club, and on his way home Bonteen is murdered. Next morning Phineas is arrested.
Having rejected Lord Fawn, Adelaide announces her engagement to Gerard Maule, though both are penniless. The Pallisers and the Chilterns organise and finance Phineas’ defence. Emilius can prove he was in his lodgings on the night of Bonteen’s murder, but Marie (Madame Max) goes to Prague to find more about him.
Marie discovers the evidence to break Emilius’ alibi. Phineas is free to marry Marie – or Lady Laura, whose husband has died leaving her a fortune. Adelaide is helped financially by the Pallisers and marries. After Phineas’ marriage a General Election puts the Liberals out of power.
© British Broadcasting Corporation 1974. The Pallisers Radio Times Special