Chapter

Disraeli in Shaw

Stanley Weintraub

in Who's Afraid of Bernard Shaw?

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037264
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041544 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037264.003.0006
Disraeli in Shaw

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Although Shaw claimed not to have read Benjamin Disraeli's novels, he apparently read some of them, as his writings evidence. Whatever the case, Disraeli's artful and witty handling of his political role during Shaw's first years in London seems to have impressed him. The prime minister's shrewd exploitation of Conservatism to secure votes from the newly enfranchised working classes attracted Shaw, whose politics somehow merged Conservative policies and strategies into his Fabian socialism. Disraelian ideas and remarks even turn up in Shaw's plays. Shaw's King Magnus of The Apple Cart (1929) would become a Platonic philosopher-king with Disraelian political resonances.

Keywords: Disraeli; Lord Beaconsfield; conservatism; popular suffrage; working classes; George Bernard Shaw; Fabian; socialism

Chapter.  5606 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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