This book tells the story of an early nineteenth-century London newspaper, the Representative, more important for the people who took part in its inception than for its journalistic merits. The gallery of characters who appear in the narrative includes prominent figures of the age, literary as well as political, such as Sir Walter Scott and his son-in-law, John Gibson Lockhart; Foreign Secretary George Canning; and certainly publisher John Murray II. The pivotal figure is, however, a very young Benjamin Disraeli, whose brilliant mind already displayed great powers of observation, verbal expression and manipulation of his elders and betters. Written in a fluent style, and drawing upon previously untapped original sources at The Bodleian Library and The John Murray Archive at The National Library of Scotland, the book presents documented proof that the events narrated are quite different from what has traditionally been accepted as truth, at the same time it unveils hitherto unknown facets of well-known figures of the age.
Reviews‘A book that will entertain and enlighten literary scholars interested in the history of newspaper publishing as well as in the life and times of the young, brash Benjamin Disraeli.’
Michel Pharand, Director, The Disraeli Project, Queen's University at Kingston
'Intended as a rival to The Times, The Representative, established in 1825, only lasted some six months before it failed, costing the publisher, John Samuel Murray, heavy financial loss. Drawing on material held in the Bodleian Library and the National Library of Scotland, the scholarly Chilean author presents, in mellifluous English, a sequence of events that sheds new light on matters that led to estrangement between the Disraeli and Murray families, not least because of the duplicitous behaviour of the young Benjamin Disraeli in his dealings with John Gibson Lockhart and his cruel attack on Murray in Vivian Grey(1826). Indeed, Disraeli comes rather badly out of this fascinating story.'
James Stevens Curl, Times Higher Education