The Times Literary Supplement recently praised the Benjamin Disraeli Letters volumes as ‘a remarkable series … on its way to becoming one of the landmarks of Victorian-era scholarship.’ Each volume provides a unique record of Disraeli’s daily activities as well as rare glimpses into his decision-making process and his relationships with colleagues and political foes.
This latest volume covers 1865 to 1867, crucial years leading up to Disraeli’s first ministry in 1868. During this period, the prime minister, Lord Derby, and Disraeli, chancellor of the exchequer, grappled with a number of challenges. Their greatest accomplishment, however, was the passage of a landmark franchise reform bill that expanded the electorate in England to an unprecedented extent.
The story is told through 697 letters, of which 525 have never before been published and 78 only in part. Thoroughly annotated, the notes often include the other side of Disraeli’s correspondence – including many letters from Derby and Queen Victoria. Finally, this volume is cross-referenced with the previous ones to obtain as complete a picture as possible of political events during Disraeli’s lifetime.