chapter  8
The Frame of Age
Pages 18

To a large extent, Disraeli's literary veins ran dry in the years before 1870 when Lothair was published. The period between the publication of Sybil and the appearance of Lothair was in many ways the most important one in the nineteenth century as far as English fiction was concerned. His ever-present obsession with manipulating events and ordering experience and dividing issues into clearly defined dichotomies is perhaps a strong reason for criticising his political as well as his novelistic achievements. In Lothair the Italian nationalist movement is represented through the beautiful Theodora who, by her personal charms rather than anything else, wins Lothair to her cause for a while. The episode is an important part of the plot and Lothair's 'education', but despite its part in the explicit and implicit dichotomy of the secret societies and Roman Catholicism, it is the less obviously glamorous influence of organised religion which pervades most of the novel.