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: Finn is the only son of a successful Irish doctor, Dr Malachi Finn of Killaloe, County Clare, who sends him to London to become a lawyer. He proves to be a lackadaisical student, but being pleasant company and strikingly handsome to boot, he makes many influential friends. One of them, a politician, Barrington Erle, suggests that he stand for Parliament in the coming election. At first, the idea seems absurd. Finn is supported solely by a modest allowance from his father, but a stroke of luck clears his path. One of his father's patients is Lord Tulla, a nobleman who controls a little borough that can be contested cheaply. Lord Tulla has had a falling out with his brother, the long-time officeholder. As a result, while the staunchly Tory lord will not support the Whig Finn, neither will he hamper him. Convincing his sceptical father to provide the funds needed, Finn wins his seat by a small margin.