To the public Disraeli, twice British Prime-Minister, was famous as much for his extravagant dress as for anything else. Recently back in the news 130 years after his death this Tory politician found himself posthumously adopted by Labour Leader Ed Miliband for once writing of Britain as "Two Nations" (the rich and the poor). In a brilliant piece originally written for the Dictionary of National Biography, Jonathan Parry traces the extraordinary and unique career and qualities of Benjamin Disraeli. The reader of this compact, lucid and very readable book embarks on an very wide ranging journey following Disraeli's life with the benefit of facts about his life and insights many of which one assumes were unknown to indeed kept hidden from his parliamentary contemporaries. Disraeli's extravagant costume and mannered behaviour provided a mask for the immeasurably more exotic and brilliant underneath which would have largely proved unfathomable, confusing and disturbing for his colleagues and more widely those he sought to win over had he not also publicly espoused reassuring absolute devotion to the conventional pieties of: Monarchy, Church, Land, Aristocracy, History and Tradition. A measure of the book's quality is the fatigue resulting from a sustained attempt to comprehend the (clearly expressed) scope of Disraeli's thoughts and actions. Parry notes the coexistence in Disraeli of high principle as well as a love of intrigue - and burning ambition. Unsurprisingly both his contemporaries and those who followed have been divided as to which was uppermost. To have been, or to be, a follower of Disraeli, the person, seems, reading this book, to require caution. To follow Disraeli's career, thoughts and writings in contrast seems the most exhilarating thing to do. Disraeli believed from a young age that he was brilliant. He was something more than that.