First published in 1966, Robert Blake's biography of Disraeli remains not only unchallenged but one of the supreme political biographies of the last one hundred years. Disraeli's story is an extraordinary one. Born in 1804, the grandson of an immigrant Italian Jew, he became leader of the Conservative Party and was twice Prime Minister (1868 and from 1874 to 1880). Famous for the 1867 Reform Act, his purchasing of the Suez Canal and his diplomatic triumphs at the Congress of Berlin, he was also the creator of the political novel and in Sybil wrote the major 'Condition of England' work of fiction. He was an outsider, a nationalist, a European, Romantic and Tory and, in Michael Foot's words 'He was without any rival whatever, the first comic genius who ever installed himself in Downing Street.' To say Robert Blake does justice to all this and more merely hints at the scale of his achievement; the reviews speak more eloquently. 'One of the very great political biographies . . . ' John Vincent, Observer ' . . . This new book is by far the best. It is outstanding. Robert Blake is a great historian - sympathetic, exhaustive and with a light touch withal. He has not attacked; he has defended. He has portrayed, with delicacy and penetration, the most exciting and, in a curious way, the most modern of all Victorian statesmen. A great book.' Harold Macmillan 'An outstandingly successful biography . . . Disraeli has never been brought so vividly to life, and his consistent champagne-like sparkle, equalled only by that of Churchill, but unsurpassed by any statesman, invests these 800 colourful pages with a beguiling attribute of timelessness.' Sir Philip Magnus, Daily Telegraph ' . . . it is his emotional identification with his subject that makes this such a remarkable and sensitive work . . . a wholly satisfying biography.' Robert Rhodes James, Spectator 'A huge, scholarly and remarkably readable work which makes us revise vast tracts of our assumptions about nineteenth-century politics.' Sir Michael Howard, Sunday Times ' A book that people will still be reading in fifty years time and long after.' Times Literary Supplement

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