Benjamin Disraeli and John Murray: The Politician, The Publisher and The Representative

BookBenjamin Disraeli and John Murray: The Politician, The Publisher and The Representative

Benjamin Disraeli and John Murray: The Politician, The Publisher and The Representative


July 31st, 2016

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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.


‘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

Author Information

Regina Akel is a Chilean biographer and literary translator who holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Warwick; her work includes a literary biography of travel writer Maria Graham and translations into Spanish of Conrad and Orwell.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Illustrations6
Dramatis Personae9
1. Backdrop15
2. A Conspiracy37
3. The Intruder from the North61
4. An Inauspicious Start81
5. Portrait of a Newspaper121
6. The Sequel147
Appendix I The ‘Poisonous Pen’ of John Gibson Lockhart195
Appendix II John Wilson Croker as a Literary Critic 209