Extract from Disraeli's Contarini Fleming, Vol. 4 (London, 1832)
32.182, pp. 82-3
In Contarini Fleming, published in February and May 1832, Disraeli returned to a familiar format, drawing on his geographic and psychological travels, interweaving them with Byronic associations. Byron's friends had included a Madame Contarini; there was a Doge named Contarini, and there are several palazzos with that name in and around Venice, a city with a special resonance in Disraeli's imagination. The Teutonic influences of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister are also evident (Charles Richmond, 'Disraeli's Education' in Richmond and Paul Smith (eds.), The Self-Fashioning of Disraeli, 1818-51 (Cambridge, 1998), pp.34, 182, n. 80). But despite - or because of - the mix, the novel failed, making a profit of only £18. Its effect on the elderly writer William Beckford, however, was electric (see Items 43-4). Here he describes his meeting with a Turkish Military Commander.
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