Benjamin Disraeli Letters: 1835-1837 - Edited by J. A. W. Gunn, John Matthews, Donald M. Schurman & M. G. WiebeToronto, Buffalo & London: University of Toronto Press, 1982, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded. Text complete, clean and tight.
Contains: Chronological tables ; Black & white plates; List of abbreviations; Appendices ;
From the cover: “The 334 letters in this volume cover the period from Disraeli’s establishment in the Tory camp under the patronage of Lord Lyndhurst to his election to parliament in 1837. The most important issue to which they speak is the course of Disraeli’s political ambitions.
In 1835 the road to parliament was not yet clear, for he continued to be haunted by troubles from his past. He was beset by charges of opportunism in his Taunton campaign of 1835, and the longest letters here are those to Edwards Beadon written in justification of past conduct; Disraeli had still to learn the truth of his later dictum, ‘never explain’. Also, debts contracted many years before continued to plague him, as they would in years to come. He was tempted by a variety of money-making schemes and the later correspondence makes clear just how close he came to permanent ruin at the hands of his creditors in the spring of 1837. Had the fate of debtors’ prison materialized it is doubtful that he would ever have been eligible, in law or in reputation, for a parliamentary career.
Disraeli’s eventual election for Maidstone in the summer of 1837 marked the emergence of his formal public role. Because he set out early and was a long time in attaining his goals, one is tempted to laud his patience. But the record here suggests that it was instead a matter of energy and endurance.
This volume of the Letters brings Disraeli to the threshold of the Victorian era and the beginning of his career as a politician. In late 1837 he failed in his maiden speech, but all major successes lay ahead.”