Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, was one of Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Ministers. Yet in their earlier days she had disliked him, considering himn to be reckless and not respectable. After the Queen's husband Prince Albert died in 1861 Disraeli sensed her loneliness, and by a combination of sympathy, flattery and support, he became one of her closest confidantes. When he became Prime Minister for a few months in 1868, and later between 1874 and 1880, they forged an extraordinarily close partnership. Disraeli called her his â€˜Faery Queen'. She had never been treated with such flattery or gracious homage, and she was completely won over.
With his love of and respect for the British Empire, Disraeli proved a very successful Prime Minister, buying shares in the Suez Canal and preventing the strategic waterway from falling into French hands, creating for Queen Victoria the title Empress of India, and achieving â€˜Peace with Honour' fo Britain at the Congress of Berlin after the Russo-Turkish War. When the ailing Disraeli was defeated in the election of 1880 and died peacefully a year later, the Queen was inconsolable.
The review of this Book prepared by John Van der Kiste