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Benjamin Disraeli papers, 1805-1896 

Creator: 
Disraeli, Benjamin, 1804-1881,.
Phys. Desc: 
1.5 linear feet (1.5 linear feet 2 document boxes 1 "archival shoe box")
Call Number: 
MS#0348
Location: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Disraeli was Britain's first, and only, prime minister of Jewish descent (he was Baptized into the Church of England, July 31, 1817). He served twice as prime minister, from 27 February to 1 December 1868 and from 20 February 1874 to 21 April 1880. Disraeli is credited with establishing the modern Conservative Party by his creation of the Conservative Central Office. It was during his leadership that England gained control of both India and the Suez Canal. In 1878 Disraeli was elevated to the House of Lords as the Earl of Beaconsfield. In addition to his political career, Disraeli had a successful career as an author. Among his publications are: "The Voyage of Captain Popanilla" (1828); "The Young Duke" (1831); "Contarini Fleming" (1832); "The Wondrous Tale of Alroy and the Rise of the Iskander" (1833); "A Year at Hartlebury" (1834) and the political pamphlet "A Vindication of the English Constitution in a Letter to a Noble and Learned Lord by Disraeli the Younger" (1835); "Coningsby" (1844); "Sybil" (1845; "Tancred" (1847); "Lord George Bentinck: A Political Biography" (1851) "Lothair" (1870); "Endymion" (1880). Something of a dandy and wit, it is reported that William Gladstone said to Disraeli"I predict, Sir, that you will die either by hanging or of some vile disease". Disraeli replied"That all depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.".

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, photographs, and printed material by and relating to Benjamin Disraeli. There are nine letters from Disraeli to various persons including Sir Charles Adderly, First Baron Norton; the Duke of Northumberland; and Sir Henry Edwards. The letters span the dates 1849 to 1879. Also included are two letters from Disraeli's father, Isaac D'Israeli, 1766-1848, to Stephen Weston, 1805, and Edward Moxon, 1833, and a post card from William Ewart Gladstone. A letter from William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne to Sir William Owen (1837) has been removed from an extra-illustrated edition of "The Letters of Runnymede" (London, 1836) and cataloged for the collection. The collection includes eight contemporary photographs of Disraeli; engravings of Disraeli and members of his family; advertisements featuring Disraeli; articles, Victorian figures; and memorabilia, and souvenirs. Also, a collection of first editions by Disraeli and works by and about him; two letters from Isaac D'Israeli to Edward Moxon; and a tinsel portrait of Queen Victoria. Two letters from Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas to Richard Bentley about Disraeli's "The Young Duke" have been added.