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Beaconsfield The Right Hon Benjamin Disraeli

Beaconsfield, The Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, first Earl of, K.G., was born December 21, 1804, in Bloomsbury Square, London. In 1827 he published Vivian Grey, and immediately thereafter went travelling through Eastern Europe and the Levant for four years. In 1832 he offered himself for election to Parliament, standing for High Wycombe as a Radical and being defeated. He then turned to literature, producing The Young Duke, Venetia, Henrietta Temple, The Letters of Runnymede, The Crisis Examined, etc. In 1835 he stood for Taunton as a Tory and was again defeated. In 1837, however, he was returned for Maidstone, and delivered his maiden speech December 7th of the same year, and in 1841 he represented Shrewsbury. In 1844 he published Coningsby, and in 1845 Sybil. Meanwhile, in 1839, he had married Wyndham Lewis's widow, and with the aid of her fortune purchased Hughenden in Buckinghamshire, a division of which county he was returned to represent in 1847. He now became leader of the Conservatives in the House of Commons, and when Lord Derby took office in 1852 he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Government remained in power only a few months, and it was not until 1858 that Mr. Disraeli again assumed office under Lord Derby. His tenure of office was again short, the Government being wrecked on a Reform Bill for putting the town and county franchise on the same level. In 1866 he returned to office, and on the resignation of Lord Derby in 1868 he became premier, for only a brief period however. "Lothair" appeared in 1870. In 1871 his wife, who had been created Lady Beaconsfield, died. In 1874 at the polls the Liberals were defeated, and Mr. Disraeli now took the reins of government, and held them for six years. In 1877, finding the work of the House of Commons too heavy for his increasing years, he accepted a peerage, and as Earl of Beaconsfield retired to the House of Lords. In the following year he with the Marquis of Salisbury as plenipotentiaries represented England at the Berlin Congress, and it was on his return home that he made the famous remark, "We bring you peace with honour." At the general election of 1880 his party was severely defeated, and on April 19th, 1881, he died, a few months after the publication of his last work, Endymion. Besides novels, he published in 1834 A Vindication of the English Constitution, in 1839 Alarcos, a Tragedy, and in 1852 Life of Lord George Bentinck.