In this novel, the characters of Plantagenet Palliser, his wife Lady Glencora and their uncle the ailing Duke of Omnium are in the background. The story centres on Lizzie Greystock, a fortune-hunter who ensnares the sickly, dissipated Sir Florian Eustace and is soon left a very wealthy widow and mother. While clever and beautiful, Lizzie has several character flaws; the greatest of these is an almost pathological delight in lying, even when it cannot benefit her.
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