December 2004 marks the bicentenary of Benjamin Disraeli's birth. Benjamin Disraeli: The Novel as Political Discourse examines Disraeli's novels in order to construct a portrait of the man, his context and enduring reputation. Disraeli's literary career ran from 1826 to 1880. Within this time he became an M.P., Leader of the Opposition, Chancellor and Prime Minister. His novels can be read as the breeding ground for his ideas, gestated away from the pressure cooker of Parliament. From his first novel, Vivian Grey, about the formation of a new political party, to the overtly political "Young England" trilogy (named after a faction of the Conservative Party with which Disraeli was aligned) and beyond, Disraeli's novels expose the development of his thinking while also reflecting the anxieties of his age. This book will appeal to those fascinated by Disraeli and Conservatism. More widely, it will be enjoyed by anyone interested in the development of Britain in the Victorian era. Drawing upon Disraeli's speeches, letters and non-fiction as well as his novels, the book enhances our understanding of this charismatic figure who continues to cast a formidable shadow across the nation's politics and culture.
"Insightful and thought-provoking, this is a critical commentary which stimulates as much as it informs. Disraeli's novels are a goldmine that has been neglected for too long, and Michael Flavin's incisive study provides an indispensable guide." - Jane Ridley, author of The Young Disraeli.