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dc.contributor.authorParry, Jonathanen
dc.date.accessioned2017-08-18T12:04:35Z
dc.date.available2017-08-18T12:04:35Z
dc.date.issued2017-06-01en
dc.identifier.issn0013-8266
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/266630
dc.description.abstractRecently there has been much interest in Benjamin Disraeli’s writings, and particularly the importance to him of empire, race and Jewishness. His favourite among his own novels, Tancred (1847), set in the Near East, is now often said to advocate Asian imperialism and Jewish superiority and to mark a key stage in his ‘self-fashioning’ as a political leader. This article suggests that the problem with these interpretations, and with the older argument that Disraeli revelled in a lack of principle (which also draws on Tancred) is that they fail to put novel and author in the context of the time. By the 1840s, Disraeli’s books were not obsessed with his own identity; instead he used them to engage with important live issues. The Near Eastern themes which Tancred tackled included serious international questions and equally intense arguments about domestic Christianity, which were themselves heavily influenced by new perspectives on the East. The book discussed how the Church of England, weakened by sectarianism and materialism, could regain the leadership of national opinion. It attacked the liberal sectarian policy pursued by the Peel government in Syria and Lebanon, and European political, religious and economic intervention in the Ottoman Empire more broadly. Commentators have misunderstood what Disraeli meant by ‘empire’, and his (critical) remarks on modern Jews. They continue to present him as exotic, and have read Tancred accordingly, as a personal manifesto for unusual and one-sided causes. Once placed in the context of the time in which it was written, the book’s great theme is revealed as the opposite: the need to abandon partisanship for synthesis in Western and Eastern politics and religion, if a chaotic world is to be brought to order.
dc.description.sponsorshipLeverhulme Trust
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherOxford University Press
dc.titleDisraeli, the East and Religion: Tancred in Contexten
dc.typeArticle
prism.endingPage604
prism.issueIdentifier556en
prism.publicationDate2017en
prism.publicationNameEnglish Historical Reviewen
prism.startingPage570
prism.volume132en
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.11041
dcterms.dateAccepted2017-05-24en
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1093/ehr/cex138en
rioxxterms.versionAMen
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserveden
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2017-06-01en
dc.identifier.eissn1477-4534
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen
pubs.funder-project-idLeverhulme Trust (MRF-2014-115)
cam.issuedOnline2017-06-20en
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2019-06-20


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