Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A beautiful book

Benjamin Disraeli by Adam Kirsch is a lovely book which I picked up at the Good Will, my favorite venue for quality books. It's the right size, fitting nicely into the hand, has beautiful acid-free paper, a nice typeface, esthetically pleasing text to margin ratio, and a nice dust jacket mad of high quality paper.
It's also fun to read, if you are interested in Disraeli, which perhaps not everyone is. The emphasis here is on how Judaism affected his life, mostly in indirect ways. I can see why it will not soon make the best seller list, but is worth reading if you are interested in English history. The man himself was brilliant, witty, and ambitious. But above all, he was persistent.
He stood for Parliament four times before succeeding in winning a seat--and and a good thing, too; he barely escaped being imprisoned for debt. (Members of Parliament cannot be imprisoned, except for heinous crimes, like treason.)
He subsequently married a rich widow. In those days, marrying for money was quite acceptable in polite society, and he made no bones about it. The marriage was a successful one, however; they had real affection for each other, and she was, in modern terms, a political junkie, who helped him in his career.


Dick Stanley said...

He was also a novelist. If I remember correctly, he avoided getting involved with the Zionist movement.

miriam said...

He had a lot of ideas about the Jews, and was supportive of their having a homeland.