When we think of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), one of two images
inevitably first springs to mind: either Disraeli the two-time
prime minister of Britain, or Disraeli the author of major novels
such as Coningsby, Sybil, and Endymion. But were these two sides of
his persona entirely separate? After all, the recurring fantasy
structures in Disraeli's fictions bear a striking similarity to the
imaginative ways in which he shaped his political career.
Disraeli: The Romance of Politics provides a remarkable
biographical portrait of Disraeli as both a statesman and a
storyteller. Drawing extensively on Disraeli's published letters
and speeches, as well as on archival sources in the United Kingdom,
Robert O'Kell illuminates the intimate, symbiotic relationship
between his fiction and his politics. His investigation shines new
light on all of Disraeli's novels, his two governments, his
imperialism, and his handling of the Irish Church Disestablishment
Crisis of 1868 and the Eastern Question in the 1870s.
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