Disraeli and The Press
Letter to Disraeli from Samuel Lucas, 13 May 1853
Dep. Hughenden 37/3, fols. 66r-67r
Many of the key stepping stones in this stage of Disraeli's life are located within the confines of the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall's corridors but he also channelled his energies into establishing a weekly newspaper, The Press, as a vehicle for progressive Conservatism which might appeal to disaffected moderate Whigs.
The first issue of The Press appeared on 7 May 1853. It was edited by Samuel Lucas (1818-68), a lawyer by training and regular contributor to The Times, who Disraeli recruited. Disraeli was a frequent but anonymous (and sometime vitriolic) contributor. The newspaper also carried items by several of his long-standing friends including Bulwer Lytton, the 'Manilus' referred to by Lucas in the letter here, George Smythe, and Lord Stanley, another of those whose intellectually stimulating company Disraeli valued.
Disraeli's anomalous position as both party leader and owner of a mouthpiece for one wing ended with the return to office in 1858 and his sale of The Press. The Press' second issue included an article on Disraeli's Budget, a complementary piece on Tea Duties and a 'striking' improvement in coverage of 'general news - Art, Drama, Music..., Literature'. [Brooke's refers to one of the leading gentlemen's clubs.]
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