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Disraeli: The Romance of Politics Hardcover – January 29, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


‘Highly recommended.’

(E.J. Jenkins Choice Magazine, vol 51:02:2013)

“O’Kell is at his most innovative when he reads Disraeli’s explicitly political writing against the imaginative backdrop of the novels. […] The result of this layered reading is that Disraeli’s career in fact appears more plausible as its disparate elements are yoked together in an account which incorporates the different tones of his voice.” (Daisy Hay Times Literary Supplement, September 20, 2013)

‘Disraeli: The Romance of Politics is the most thorough study to date of the relationship between Disraeli’s political and literary careers… O’Kell’s book, already thorough and valuable, may yet come to acquire additional relevance, by highlighting the circuitous nature of routes to political power, and the tenacity of the adventurer.’

(Michael Flavin Canadian Journal of History vol 49: autumn 2014)

‘O’Kell has brought a remarkably fresh perspective to Disraeli’s career… It is certainly a book that should stand as an example of how a genuinely cross-disciplinary approach to Victorian Studies in general, and ‘the dynamics of political culture’ in particular, can enliven the most studied of nineteenth-century topics.’

(I. Cawood The English Historical Review; September 2014)

‘Robert O’Kell’s Disraeli: The Romance of Politics is a brilliant original book that illuminates Benjamin Disraeli’s mind and temperament as no previous work has managed.; it threatens many other Disraeli biographies seem superficial.’

(Frederick Schweitzer Victorian Studies vol 57:01:2014)

‘The literary life of Benjamin Disraeli is the most important book to be published on this intriguing figure in at least a decade… For the Victorianist, O’Kell’s magnum opus is an exemplar of interdisciplinary methodology and offers a refreshing re-interpretation of Disraeli’s political life and literary works.’

(Rosemary Mitchell Journal of Victorian Culture, 19 June 2015)

‘Thoughtful, lucid, well-researched book… O'Kell throws new, important, and interesting light on $rdquo;The Chief$rduo;’.

(Richard Aldous Review19, August 2015)

O’Kell’s study is a fascinating and compelling portrait of one of Victorian Britain’s most colourful figures… A book that is certain to set a precedent for years to come.’

(David G. Reagles Victorian Periodicals vol 48:02:2015)


‘Disraeli: The Romance of Politics examines how, without inherited privilege in an aristocratic establishment, Benjamin Disraeli immersed himself in fiction and in fact in the heady atmosphere of national politics, and contrary to the realities of birth, prejudice, and class, realized his extravagant fantasies.  Robert O’Kell convincingly evokes, through Disraeli’s writings, the complete outsider whom his envious enemies called “the Mephistopheles of statesmanship.”’ (Stanley Weintraub, author of Disraeli: A Biography)|‘Disraeli: The Romance of Politics casts new light on the complex interrelationship of Disraeli’s political career to his novels and controversial psychology. Robert O’Kell’s knowledge of Disraeli’s life, fictional works, and politics is eminently sound, and his use of primary materials and secondary sources evinces a long-standing familiarity with Disraeli and his milieu. This is altogether original and exemplary scholarship, written in fluid, jargon-free prose that is a pleasure to read.’
(Michel Pharand, Director, The Disraeli Project, Queen’s University)

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