What is it about Disraeli that continues to fascinate over a century after his death in 1881? Was it his extraordinary journey from dandy novelist to European statesman? Was it the fact that someone born a commoner and a non-Christian should eventually lead the Conservative Party, bastion of nobility and the Church? Perhaps it was the remarkable ability he needed to achieve such a leap. Or perhaps his unlikely ascent to the office of prime minister reflects the changing social climate of 19th-century Britain.
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