Surreysmum's Reviews > Endymion

Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli
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Mar 28, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: general-fiction, 1985

[These notes were made in 1985. I read the New York: Cambridge Society, 1905 edition]. I bought this for the pretty cover, and read it because it was there. A curiosity in several ways: it's a subscription edition (a book club?) It has a "critical introduction" by Edmund Gosse which doesn't even mention the book it introduces. It is, bless their little hearts, imperfect, having a largish section (at least 2 gatherings, I think) duplicated and misbound, while part of the text is of course missing in compensation. (Am I just unlucky, or were they generally this careless?) The novel itself is Disraeli's last, a somewhat nostalgic, semi-autobiographical roman-à-clef about the 1830s and '40s. There are little love intrigues, of course, but our author isn't really putting his heart into them - no pun intended - so we end up with peculiar misconceptions. I had a picture of Lady Montfort, for instance, which had her a far maturer woman than the one with whom Endymion finally throws in his lot at the end. The enigmatic, passionate, controlled elder sister, Myra, is the most interesting character of the lot, but instead of seeing inside her, we simply get to see her crowned a queen. The key at the beginning and my DNB helped me keep Whigs and Tories straight, and provided a certain sort of crossword-puzzle-like interest to the political bits - which were most of the novel!
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