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Disraeli: A Biography

by Stanley Weintraub

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1031203,410 (3.36)2
"He was a dandy, an adventurer, a spendthrift, a sensational popular novelist. Combining political flair with an appetite for wine, women, and salons, he overcame a reputation as a loser by his election - while debtor's prison loomed - to the immunity of a seat in Parliament. More than once, disabling depression had left him bedridden, but his physician was ambition and women his tonic. He married a widow twelve years his senior for her money and forged an astonishing career. Benjamin Disraeli was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen of the nineteenth century. This major new biography is a superlative portrait not only of this fascinating figure but of the Victorian Age that shaped him." ""Life," he claimed, "is a masquerade." Born a Jew, he was raised from his teens as an Anglican but always exploited his origins to political and literary advantage, remaining an enigma to a world that first reviled yet ultimately revered him. The background that handicapped him, the positions he held - often precariously - the power he loved to wield, the novels he published, the wit he employed devastatingly, and the women he needed, used, and loved, all illuminate the man and underscore the dimensions of his triumphs over prejudice and personal flaws. In the searching glare of a hostile press, he drove himself from upstart playboy to an earl full of dignity and honors. Nevertheless, as is revealed here for the first time, in the shadows of fame he seems to have secretly fathered two children."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

Weintraub disappointingly spends way too much time summarizing Disraeli's literary works. I need to find a better biography of Disraeli. ( )
  KirkLowery | Mar 4, 2014 |
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"He was a dandy, an adventurer, a spendthrift, a sensational popular novelist. Combining political flair with an appetite for wine, women, and salons, he overcame a reputation as a loser by his election - while debtor's prison loomed - to the immunity of a seat in Parliament. More than once, disabling depression had left him bedridden, but his physician was ambition and women his tonic. He married a widow twelve years his senior for her money and forged an astonishing career. Benjamin Disraeli was one of the most extraordinary Englishmen of the nineteenth century. This major new biography is a superlative portrait not only of this fascinating figure but of the Victorian Age that shaped him." ""Life," he claimed, "is a masquerade." Born a Jew, he was raised from his teens as an Anglican but always exploited his origins to political and literary advantage, remaining an enigma to a world that first reviled yet ultimately revered him. The background that handicapped him, the positions he held - often precariously - the power he loved to wield, the novels he published, the wit he employed devastatingly, and the women he needed, used, and loved, all illuminate the man and underscore the dimensions of his triumphs over prejudice and personal flaws. In the searching glare of a hostile press, he drove himself from upstart playboy to an earl full of dignity and honors. Nevertheless, as is revealed here for the first time, in the shadows of fame he seems to have secretly fathered two children."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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