The masterly biography of one of the most fascinating men of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, concentrating on his long and interesting private life: written by 'our outstanding popular historian' [A.N.Wilson]. Superb politician, orator, writer and wit, Benjamin Disraeli was -- according to Queen Victoria -- 'the kindest Minister' she had ever had, who 'reached the top of the greasy pole' [in his own words] despite considerable antisemitism. He enjoyed many scandalous affairs before marrying a widow twelve years older than himself -- an extremely eccentric woman to whom he remained deeply and touchingly devoted for the rest of his life. Disraeli had never intended to be a politician. He had begun his astonishing career by working unenthusiastically in a lawyer's office; he had tried unsuccessfully to found a newspaper; he had written a novel which lay unproductively in the publisher's office. A conspicuous dandy, sprightly, attentive and witty, he was attractive to women, enjoying many liaisons until he contracted a venereal disease in a St James's Street brothel. He married in 1839. 'Dizzy married me for my money,' Mary Anne used to say. 'But, if he had the chance again, he would marry me for love.'They lived in a large country house, Hughenden Manor, near High Wycombe, which he bought with mostly borrowed money, and soon became one of the most gifted of parliamentarians and as celebrated as any politician in England. As an antidote to his grief at his wife's death in 1872 he threw himself back into the political life, becoming Prime Minister for the second time in 1874, displacing Gladstone much to the Queen's delight.
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Christopher Hibbert was described in the New Statesman as 'a pearl of biographers', in the Sunday Times as 'a gloriously versatile writer', and in the TES as 'perhaps the most gifted popular historian we have'. His many highly acclaimed books include lives of Mussolini, Samuel Johnson, Wellington, Nelson, Queen Victoria and Napoleon;biographies of cities such as London, Rome, Venice and Florence; and histories of The English: A Social History, Cavaliers and Roundheads, and The Great Mutiny.Review:
“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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Book Description Harper Collins, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007147171