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The Many Lives of Benjamin Disraeli

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.

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons Disraeli's 'Venetia': Death of a Poet? Michael Flavin demonstrates the way in which a critically unexplored novel, 'Venetia', sheds light on Disraeli's political formation. Michael Flavin 08 Jul 2015
2 Creative Commons Working with Hughenden Manor: Solving the Statesman’s Rooms Oliver Cox (D.Phil, Oxford) and Rob Bandy (manager, Hughenden Manor) discuss the exciting partnership between Oxford University researchers and National Trust properties throughout the country. Oliver Cox, Rob Bandy 08 Jul 2015
3 Creative Commons Rediscovering Disraeli – One Letter at a Time Michel Pharand, director of The Disraeli Project in Ontario, talks about piecing together Disraeli's story, one letter at a time. Michel Pharand 08 Jul 2015
4 Creative Commons Pegasus and Carthorse: The Many Shades of Disraeli’s Celebrity Sandra Mayer assesses the intersections of literary and political fame in Disraeli’s public image. Sandra Mayer 08 Jul 2015
5 Creative Commons Scenes from Disraeli’s Extraordinary Life: Curating the Bodleian 2004 Exhibition and Widening Its Reach An inside look at the 2002 Bodleian Library exhibition about Disraeli's extraordinary life. Helen Langley 08 Jul 2015
6 Creative Commons 'A Jew in his heart': The Reception of Disraeli's Judaism A dynamic exploration of shifts in historical writing about Disraeli's Judaism between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Megan Kearney 08 Jul 2015