“You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous.” ~ A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
And he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.” ~ Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
The novel depicts the life of Vivian Grey as he grows up and attempts to succeed in the world of politics. The novel has autobiographical elements and is also a satire on the social and political life of the time. Its publication caused quite a stir as the members of London society tried to deduce the name of the author.
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“A man’s fate is his own temper; and according to that will be his opinion as to the particular manner in which the course of events is regulated. A consistent man believes in Destiny, a capricious man in Chance.” ~ Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli
Benjamin Disraeli was born on December 21, 1804 and died on April 19, 1881. He was a talented writer as well as a politician. He twice served as Prime Minister. His works include Sybil, Coningsby and Vivian Grey.
- While Disraeli was British, all of his grandparents and great grandparents were born in Italy
- He was of Jewish birth, but later converted to Christianity. As of this writing, he’s the only person to hold the office of British Prime Minister who was born Jewish.
- In 1839 Disraeli married Mary Anne Lewis. She was twelve years older than Disraeli and had an income of £5,000 a year. “Dizzy married me for my money,” his wife later said, “But, if he had the chance again, he would marry me for love.”
- He served as Prime Minister twice. The first time was from February 27 to 1 December of 1868. The second time Disraeli was Prime Minister was from February 20, 1874 to April 21, 1880.
- Disraeli is remembered for his political battles with the Liberal leader, William Ewart Gladstone.
- Hughenden Manor, a red brick Victorian mansion, located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England was Disraeli’s country house. In 1862 the Disraelis had the house remodelled by the architect Edward Buckton Lamb. Today, it is owned by the National Trust and open to the public.
- Disraeli had a close friendship with Queen Victoria, who in 1876 created him Earl of Beaconsfield.
Novels by Benjamin Disraeli
- Vivian Grey
- The Young Duke
- Contarini Fleming
- Ixion in Heaven
- The Wondrous Tale of Alroy
- The Rise of Iskander
- The Infernal Marriage
- Henrietta Temple
- Coningsby, or the New Generation
- Sybil, or The Two Nations
- Tancred, or the New Crusade
- Falconet (unfinished)