Thursday, January 06, 2011

Hurd on Blake on Disraeli

Kudos to Douglas Hurd for revivifying Robert Blake's splendid biography of Benjamin Disraeli--surely one of the most satisfying modern biographies, a perfect match of subject and chronicler.  Looks to me like it is not in print in the US,, though Amazon will sell you a used hardcover for $3 or a new paperback for $164 (yep, you read that right--shipped from Japan: maybe they meant to price it in yen).  Blake is also the author of another favorite of mine--The Conservative Party from Peel to Major, which, so far as I can tell, has never been in print in the United States (that's my review on the Amazon page, from back in my pre-blogging days).  Looks like a nice new paperback available from, though.

Hurd also touts Roy Jenkins on Gladstone , which is a good call, though I suspect Jenkins' Asquith is better.  His other three choices--two by DR Thorpe--I never read.

Statement of interest:
perhaps I do have a bias here.  Blake's Disraeli was the first book I allowed myself to read after finished the bar exam, and after all those bar notes, I suppose anything would have seemed like a breath of fresh air.

Afterthought: if memory serves, it was Douglas Hurd who once told a reporter he intended to spend his Christmas holiday poring over the memoirs of the 14th Earl of Darby--a project which, if memory serves, struck the reporter as achieving some kind of standard for paralyzing dulness.

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