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ALS Stating “I fear my influence is very limited”

Signed by Benjamin Disraeli

Item: 19522
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DISRAELI, BENJAMIN. (1804-1881). English author, politician and prime minister in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880; confidant of Queen Victoria. ALS. (“Disraeli”). 3½ pp. 8vo. Hughenden Manor, November 27, 1870. On his Hughenden Manor stationery. To Irish Liberal politician WILLIAM MCCULLAGH TORRENS (1813-1894).

I think it highly desirable that the chairman of the Metrop[olitan]: Education Board should have a seat in the House of Commons, & there is no one of the candidates with that qualification whose claims for that distinction are equal to your own.

You are in fact the parliamentary author of the Board & I sh[oul]d. be glad, myself, to see you presiding over a creation wh[ich]: does you honor, & which, in all probability, will benefit the country.

If I could assist in this matter, I should be happy, but I fear my influence is very limited, & that my absence from London is not calculated to encrease [sic.] it…”

Benjamin Disraeli portrait

Benjamin Disraeli

Prior to entering politics, Disraeli enjoyed literary fame with such works as Vivian Grey, The Young Duke, Contarini Fleming, and Henrietta Temple. However, his literary accomplishments are dwarfed by a long political career that began with his election to parliament in 1837. In 1847, he represented the county of Buckinghamshire, and in 1868 and from 1874 to 1880 he served as prime minister. He became Queen Victoria’s trusted advisor and confidant, he was named Earl of Beaconsfield and Viscount Hughenden by her in 1876.

A Dublin native, Torrens represented several different constituencies in Parliament including that of Finsbury from 1865-1885. In addition to championing several pieces of important legislation, he authored, Lectures on the Use and Study of History, Life of Lord Melbourne, Industrial History of Free Nations, Empire in Asia and Memoirs of Wellesley.

The Elementary Education Act of 1870 reformed public education in England and established local school boards, including the London School Board, the subject of our letter. Torrens was successfully elected a member in the historic 1870 election which was the first major election in Britain to be conducted by secret ballot and which also allowed women to vote and run for seats. Folded with some dust staining, wear and several pin holes and minor pencil notations. In fine condition with a lovely signature.

ALS Stating “I fear my influence is very limited”

Signed by Benjamin Disraeli

$700 • item #19522

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