Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby

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For writing Coningsby, or The New Generation (1844), Benjamin Disraeli, who had moved from a modestly successful career as a novelist into the limelight of political life, is widely credited with inventing the political novel. “Disraeli has created a new type [of novel]”, says Robert Blake in his biography of Disraeli. “[Coningsby] is essentially political, written to expound a political creed” (190). Although earlier novels, such as William Godwin’s Caleb Williams (1794) and Robert Bage’s Hermsprong (1796), had dealt with such abstract political ideas as reason, justice, and government, it was not until Coningsby that a novel devoted itself primarily to the activity of contemporary politics, written from the perspective of a practising politician. A quarter of a century…

3427 words

Citation: Clausson, Nils. "Coningsby". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 February 2012 [, accessed 02 December 2023.]

9772 Coningsby 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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