Benjamin Disraeli Letters: 1835-1837, Volume II
The 334 letters in this volume cover the period from Disraeli's establishment in the Tory camp under the patronage of Lord Lyndhurst to his election to parliament in 1837. The most important issue to which they speak is the course of Disraeli's political ambitions.
In 1835 the road to parliament was not yet clear, for he continued to be haunted by troubles from his past. He was beset by charges of opportunism in his Taunton campaign of 1835, and the longest letters here are those to Edwards Beadon written in justification of past conduct; Disraeli had still to learn the truth of his later dictum, 'never explain.' Also, debts contracted many years before continued to plague him, as they would in years to come. He was tempted by a variety of money-making schemes and the later correspondence makes clear just how close he came to permanent ruin at the hands of his creditors in the spring of 1837. Had the fate of debtors' prison materialized it is doubtful that he would ever have been eligible, in law or in reputation, for a parliamentary career.
Disraeli's eventual election for Maidstone in the summer of 1837 marked the emergence of his formal public role. Because he set out early and was a long time in attaining his goals, one is tempted to laud his patience. But the record here suggests that it was instead a matter of energy and endurance.
This volume of the Letters brings Disraeli to the threshold of the Victorian era and the beginning of his career as a politician. In late 1837 he failed in his maiden speech, but all major successes lay ahead.
- Series: Letters of Benjamin Disraeli
- World Rights
- Page Count: 502 pages
- Dimensions: 7.0in x 1.0in x 10.0in
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) was one of the most important figures in nineteenth-century Europe, spending three decades in British government and twice serving as prime minister, as well as being a well-known literary figure. A convert to Anglicanism, he was Britain's first and thus far only Prime Minister of Jewish heritage.
J.A.W. Gunnretired in 2001 as Sir Edward Peacock professor, after forty years service to Queen's University in the Department of Political Science. Appointed full professor in 1970, he was Head of Department 1975-83 and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1983.
John P. Matthews was a professor emeritus of English at Queen's University, Kingston.
Donald M. Schurman (1924-2013) was a professor of history at Queen's University. He also served at the Royal Military College.
M.G. Wiebe is general editor emeritus of the Disraeli Project and was a professor of English at Queen's University.
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