The extraordinary career of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) forged intersections between political action, visionary leadership, creative achievement, and romantic self-invention. As a best-selling novelist, flamboyant dandy, notable wit, ethnic outsider, and icon of Conservative politics giving rise to a powerful political myth, his multifaceted public persona has become emblematically associated with various aspects of Victorian literary, political, visual, and material culture. Recent Disraeli scholarship has been instrumental in widening the perspective on his life and career, illuminating the cross-fertilisation between his fiction, political and social thought, Jewish background, celebrity status, and psychology. Disraeli’s breadth and versatility as one of the most conspicuous and prominent nineteenth-century public figures, writers, politicians, and thinkers necessitates a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to his life and work. These papers -- which were delivered at a symposium in Oxford on 24 March 2015 -- facilitate a broad discussion of Disraeli’s many parallel (after)lives, representations, and his intellectual legacy within his Victorian contexts and beyond.
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