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Vivian Grey

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A novel by B. Disraeli, published 1826, with a continuation in 1827.

Vivian, a brilliant and difficult boy, is expelled from school, and discovers that by clever manipulation of his charm and social skills he can advance himself in the world of politics. He becomes the protégé of the marquis of Carabas, a powerful but disappointed politician, and by cynically playing on the follies of various discontented peers and MPs builds a faction round the marquis. His secret efforts to create a new party are exposed by the tempestuous Mrs Lorraine (a reminiscence of Lady Caroline Lamb). Vivian is challenged to a duel by the outraged Cleveland, leader‐designate of the party, whom Vivian kills. All hopes destroyed, the young man leaves England and begins a desultory life of intrigue, adventure, and lost love among German princelings and principalities. The last four Books were added by popular demand in 1827.

Subjects: Literature

Reference entries

Benjamin Disraeli (1804—1881) prime minister and novelist