Peaches and Plumbs Booksellers

Sybil; or The Two Nations


Sybil; or The Two Nations





It is not often that a distinguished politician bends his back to the task of crafting a work of fiction. This was, however, something Benjamin Disraeli, was perfectly adept at even as the cut and thrust of politics dominated his life.

His Sybil, or The Two Nations is one of the finest novels to depict the social problems of class-ridden Victorian England.

The book's publication in 1845 created a sensation. It brought the plight of the working classes sharply to the attention of the reading public. The 'two nations' are the rich and poor, so disparate in their opportunities and living conditions, and so hostile to each other that they seem almost to belong to different countries.

No one previously had articulated the existence of two totally antagonistic communities that represented "two nations" with such candor. Disraeli saw its dangers and wished to take steps to quickly defuse the gathering tensions.  

The gulf between them is given a poignant focus by the central romantic plot concerning the love of Charles Egremont, a member of the landlord class for Sybil, the poor daughter of a militant Chartist leader.

*Sybil, is listed number 11 by the Guardian as one of the top twenty novels of all time.

BENJAMIN DISRAELI (1804-1881) was Britain’s Prime Minister both in 1868 and again from 1874-1880. This charismatic reformer chose fiction as the medium to convey many of his important ideas to his countrymen. It is in the depiction of the conditions of life in England that the statesman-novelist truly shows his magnificent expressive talents.



Add To Cart