Disraeli : The Victorian Dandy Who Became Prime Minister


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To Thomas Carlyle he was "not worth his weight in cold bacon," but, to Queen Victoria, Benjamin Disraeli was "the kindest Minister" she had ever had and a "dear and devoted friend." In this masterly biography by England's "outstanding popular historian" (A.N. Wilson), Christopher Hibbert reveals the personal life of one of the most fascinating men of the nineteenth century and England's most eccentric Prime Minister. A superb speaker, writer, and wit, Disraeli did not intend to be a politician. Born into a family of Jewish merchants, Disraeli was a conspicuous dandy, constantly in debt, and enjoyed many scandalous affairs until, in 1839, he married an eccentric widow twelve years older than him. As an antidote to his grief at his wife's death in 1872, he threw himself into politics becoming Prime Minister for the second time in 1874, much to the Queen's delight.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 401 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1403978964
  • 9781403978967
  • 591,653

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Review quote

An adroitly written evocation of a compelling but enigmatic personality, a man whose ambition, idealism and opportunism would not seem out of place on the political scene today. "Publishers Weekly" Christopher Hibbert is one of the great British historians of our era. His elegant and lyrical writing has inspired a generation of authors to imitate him. Yet, he remains unsurpassed. Disraeli is a timely reminder of why Hibbert is still loved and admired all over the world. Amanda Foreman, bestselling author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire Christopher Hibbert has done it again and produced a skillfully written narrative of one of the titans of British politics, Benjamin Disraeli. In Disraeli Hibbert has created a vivid human portrait of the statesman. Hibbert is especially adept at bringing alive Disraeli's close relationship with his eccentric but beloved wife. All in all, a masterful account of an intriguing figure from an accomplished historian. Julia P. Gelardi, bestselling author of Born to Rule Christopher Hibbert's books have long been an inspiration to writers: they are witty, urbane and--most importantly--joyfully readable. In "Disraeli," the author is perfectly matched to his subject, to create a biography that fizzes with energy and intelligence. "Judith Flanders, author of Inside the Victorian Home" [An] engaging new biography. "The Guardian" [A] thoroughly enjoyable read...a well-written narrative. [Hibbert] is a superbly skillful historical writer. "The Spectator" [Hibbert] is a polished practitioner of the biographer's art...a smoothly readable book. "Christopher Kent, Journal of Historical Biography""

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About Christopher Hibbert

Christopher Hibbert was born in 1924 and educated at Radley and Oxford. He is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including "The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici"; "The English: A Social History"; and "Cavaliers and Roundheads. "He has also written 'biographies' of London, Rome, and Venice, and the lives of Samuel Johnson, Elizabeth I, and Napoleon and his women.

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