The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli

The Young Duke by Benjamin Disraeli

Courtesy of the British Library, we have a very, very old book cover to show. This is the cover for Benjamin Disraeli’s The Young Duke (the book’s full, somewhat unwieldy title is The Young Duke – a moral tale, though gay).

Disraeli was certainly an interesting character — he was a novelist of Jewish decent who eventually became the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Even while serving as Prime Minster, he still continued publishing novels. He was born Benjamin D’Israeli (after his father), but he had his surname amended later in life (perhaps to avoid confusion with his father).

Whole books have been written on Disraeli’s political career and his contributions to British politics (for better or for worse), so we won’t delve too deep into that here. If you want to learn more, however, you can check out this fairly robust Wikipedia summary.

Disraeli would eventually feel some embarrassment about publishing the book, since it was designed to make a mockery of the bourgeois lifestyle he would come to live in his later life. It was also the first of his novels that made commentary on the politicians of that day.

The cover we’re showing here comes from the Primrose Edition published by George Routledge and Sons and priced at a sixpence.