Published in 1870, Benjamin Disraeli’s Lothair was the blockbuster of its day. The novel follows the life of a wealthy Scottish orphan who has been brought up in the legal guardianship of his Presbyterian uncle Lord Culloden and of a Catholic convert, Cardinal Grandison. When he comes of age he falls in love with three women Lady Corisande, representing the Church of England; Clare Arundel, a Roman Catholic; and Theodora Campion, a Radical. After being rejected by Corisande he heads to Italy joining Garibaldi’s army but is seriously injured in a battle that sees Campion killed. Nursed back to health he visits Syria where he learns more about religion and later returns to England where he marries the woman who rejected him. The novel, which was published after Disraeli’s first term as Prime Minister, according to Victorianweb, not only “reinvigorated both Disraeli’s literary fame and his political career” but “sparked Lothair-mania in both Europe and America.” It continues: “Lothair became the favourite topic of almost every drawing-room discussion in both Britain and America. Commercial products, including a perfume, a racehorse, and a clipper ship were given the name of the eponymous hero… Baron Rothschild, a friend of Disraeli’s, named his race champion filly Corisande, after one of the heroines of the novel, the future wife of Lothair. Royalties from Lothair brought Disraeli at least 7,500 pounds. An almost simultaneous collected edition of his earlier novels that appeared in the autumn of 1870, gave him additionally 3,100 pounds, bringing his total earnings in 1876 to about 10,600 pounds, which would now equal to an amount of some £700,000.” This is one of a cluster of roads named after Disraeli novels, the others are Venetia Road and Coningsby Road.
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