Twice Prime Minister, dandy, novelist, creator of the party machine and brilliant orator, Benjamin Disraeli was both a "realist and a showman". As a Jew, he overcame the prejudice and snobbery of Victorian society and climbed the "greasy pole" to become one of the great Conservative leaders. Queen Victoria, whom he made Empress of India, was distraught when Disraeli left office, calling him "the kindest and most devoted as well as one of the wisest Ministers".
In this vividly entertaining biography, Hesketh Pearson conveys the many contradictory characteristics in Disraeli's personality: the huge ambition set against a delight in domesticity, the political hard-head with a romantic streak, the thirst for power coupled with the need for love. "Everything comes if a man will only wait," he once wrote. Disraeli overcame the difficulties of his origin, his eccentricity, his debts, the antipathy of his party, and the national distrust of genius and wit.