chapter  4
Fortune and Fancy
Pages 18

This chapter attempts to approach a better understanding of Benjamin Disraeli the man through his life as a novelist. He may have conceived of himself as something of a revolutionary, and to some extent such an assessment could have justifiably been based on his own idiosyncratic mind. But although there is reason to believe that his later political ideas were already forming themselves in that mind, his assertion in 1832 that he was a 'present radical' was really no more than an admission that, by virtue of his individualistic and non-aligned political campaigning. He was to be grouped with the band of eccentrically motivated independents who were a recognised part of pre-Victorian 'radicalism'. Fancy feeds on indolence, and his months of lounging, together with his 'grand passion', conspired to awaken in him a new literary enterprise. A great poem needs a great subject, and so the revolutionary in Disraeli decided that his epic would be about the French Revolution.