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  • Published: 8 January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473511071
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

Mr and Mrs Disraeli

A Strange Romance

An engaging portrait of the surprisingly unconventional marriage between Benjamin and Mary Anne Disraeli from one of our best young non-fiction writers.

He was a debt-ridden dandy, a mid-ranking novelist armed with enormous political ambition.

She was a moneyed widow twelve years older than her new husband, always overdressed for society dinners and never one to hold her tongue.

From the outset, Mary Anne and Benjamin Disraeli made an unlikely match, yet they rose to the very pinnacle of Victorian society.

Drawing on the couple's love letters and Mary Anne's own formidable archives, Daisy Hay reveals the heady mix of romance and power that fuelled their influence - and chronicles how the Disraelis crafted their unconventional marriage into an enduring love story.

  • Published: 8 January 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473511071
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 336

About the author

Daisy Hay

Daisy Hay was born in Oxford in 1981. She is the author of Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives, for which she was awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy and highly commended by the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. She has a BA and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Romantic and Sentimental Literature from the University of York. In 2009-10 she was the Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford and in 2010-12 she held a visiting scholarship at Wolfson College, Oxford. In 2012-13 she was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. She is currently a Lecturer in English Literature and Archival Studies at the University of Exeter, and a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker. She lives in Devon.

Also by Daisy Hay

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Praise for Mr and Mrs Disraeli

A tour de force, written with intelligence and compassion

The Times

Thorough and engaging... A warm and rounded portrait

Daily Telegraph

A fabulous book, as if Jane Austen were writing for a modern newspaper... Full of wonderfully observed detail... A great story of life and loves in a time when making the right marriage really mattered


All marriages have their mysteries, political marriages more than most. The marriage of Mr and Mrs Disraeli was stranger than fiction, but every bit as compelling

Robert McCrum, The Observer

A beguiling account of a very unusual marriage

Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times

As with all the best biographers, Hay makes her readers drag their feet towards the end, reluctant to part company with people she has made us know and feel for. Her book has turned the Disraelis’ uneven romance into a real love story. How pleased they would have been


One to watch in 2015


One to watch in 2015

Rachel Cooke, The Observer

It is a great story of life and loves in a time when making the right marriage really mattered

John Rentoul, Independent

Much colour and entertainment

Leslie Mitchell, Literary Review

A beguiling account of a very unusual marriage

Sunday Times

Above all, the Disraelis’ is a love story, and it is this unusual but most human of tales that gives this book its raison d’être

Tim Bouverie, Weekly Telegraph

What Hay does is ask us to think more subtly about a marriage that, no matter how peculiar to onlookers, facilitated one of the greatest parliamentary careers of modern times

Kathryn Hughes, 4 stars, Mail on Sunday

[An] excellent book

Good Book Guide


Mail on Sunday

Daisy hay paints a picture of a strange yet real romance between Bejamin and Mary Anne Disraeli

Katie Lazell, Public Service Magazine

Reminds us, yet again, how much more complex and intriguing the Victorians were than we might think

Robert McCrum, Observer

Hay brings alive an unusual marriage with skill and imagination.

Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times

The story is well known, but Hay’s lively retelling only makes you want to applaud again the two clever commoners who outplayed the ruling elite and changed the course of British history.

Marcus Field

This detailed and wonderful book shows how the couple defined one another and paints a fascinating picture of a loving and supportive partnership.

Julia Richardson, Daily Mail

Daisy Hay’s dual biography offers a vivid portrait of a marriage that confounded their friends but proved to be happy and enduring.

Paula Byrne, The Times

Touching story, which [Hay] tells with an exhilarating combination of pace and erudition… A real love story.

Rosemary Hill, Guardian

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