chapter  7
Spells of Social Sorcery
Pages 18

Tancred, or, The New Crusade was a part of Disraeli's so-called Young England trilogy. It was the least successful financially, and is a lesser book than either Coningsby or Sybil. It has too often been assumed that Disraeli conceived of these three novels as forming a distinct trilogy, isolated within his oeuvre by a clear philosophy and shared aims. By 1849, when Disraeli was a front-bench politician aspiring to a front-bench political respectability, he was obviously interested in accentuating the political and topical contexts of novels which had been criticised for their affectations and romantic illusions as much as for their 'ideas'. From the beginning the novel fans out to cover much of the metropolitan parliamentary and social scene, and as the many personages are paraded before us as if at a cocktail party, we are aware of Disraeli's efforts to impose on the work a superficial link with Coningsby and Sybil which the rest of Tancred only thinly supports.