Join us on a literary world trip!
Add this book to bookshelf
Grey
Write a new comment Default profile 50px
Grey
Subscribe to read the full book or read the first pages for free!
All characters reduced
Sybil (Annotated) - cover

Sybil (Annotated)

Benjamin Disraeli

Publisher: BertaBooks

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

Summary

Sybil, or The Two Nations is an 1845 novel by Benjamin Disraeli. Published in the same year as Friedrich Engels's The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, Sybil traces the plight of the working classes of England. Disraeli was interested in dealing with the horrific conditions in which the majority of England's working classes lived — or, what is generally called the Condition of England question.

The book is a roman à thèse, or a novel with a thesis — which was meant to create a furor over the squalor that was plaguing England's working class cities.

The general reader whose attention has not been specially drawn to the subject which these volumes aim to illustrate, the Condition of the People, might suspect that the Writer had been tempted to some exaggeration in the scenes which he has drawn and the impressions which he has wished to convey. He thinks it therefore due to himself to state that he believes there is not a trait in this work for which he has not the authority of his own observation, or the authentic evidence which has been received by Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Committees. But while he hopes he has alleged nothing which is not true, he has found the absolute necessity of suppressing much that is genuine. For so little do we know of the state of our own country that the air of improbability that the whole truth would inevitably throw over these pages, might deter many from their perusal.

Disraeli's novel was made into a silent film called Sybil in 1921, starring Evelyn Brent and Cowley Wright.

Disraeli's interest in this subject stemmed from his interest in the Chartist movement, a working-class political reformist movement that sought universal male suffrage and other parliamentary reforms. (Thomas Carlyle sums up the movement in his 1839 book "Chartism.") Chartism failed as a parliamentary movement (three petitions to Parliament were rejected); however, five of the "Six Points" of Chartism would become a reality within a century of the group's formation.

The story begins by introducing George, Harris, Jerome (always referred to as "J."), and Jerome's dog, a fox terrier called Montmorency. The men are spending an evening in J.'s room, smoking and discussing illnesses from which they fancy they suffer. They conclude that they are all suffering from "overwork" and need a holiday. A stay in the country and a sea trip are both considered. The country stay is rejected because Harris claims that it would be dull, the sea-trip after J. describes bad experiences of his brother-in-law and a friend on sea trips. The three eventually decide on a boating holiday up the River Thames, from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford, during which they will camp, notwithstanding more of J.'s anecdotes about previous mishaps with tents and camping stoves.

They set off the following Saturday. George must go to work that day, so J. and Harris make their way to Kingston by train. They cannot find the right train at Waterloo Station (the station's confusing layout was a well-known theme of Victorian comedy) so they bribe a train driver to take his train to Kingston, where they collect the hired boat and start the journey. They meet George further up river at Weybridge.

The remainder of the story describes their river journey and the incidents that occur. The book's original purpose as a guidebook is apparent as J., the narrator, describes passing landmarks and villages such as Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Church, Magna Carta Island and Monkey Island, and muses on historical associations of these places. However, he frequently digresses into humorous anecdotes that range from the unreliability of barometers for weather forecasting to the difficulties encountered when learning to play the Scottish bagpipes.
Available since: 08/08/2017.

Other books that might interest you

  • Meerkats Moles and Voles - Animals of the Underground - cover

    Meerkats Moles and Voles -...

    Jody Rake

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    From shrews to snakes, all sorts of animals burrow in complex homes below the surface of the Earth. Readers will uncover the many different creatures that find the underground to be an ideal habitat. There’s a whole world beneath the ground!
    Show book
  • Proteínas en MiPlato Protein on MyPlate - cover

    Proteínas en MiPlato Protein on...

    Mari Schuh

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    Protein is tasty, hearty, and healthy. Learn about how MyPlate helps kids make great food choices every day, including protein!
    Show book
  • How Do Jets Work? - cover

    How Do Jets Work?

    Buffy Silverman

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    Jets are sleek and powerful. They travel very fast. But how do these heavy planes fly? And how do pilots land them? Read this book to find out!
    Show book
  • The Star Child - cover

    The Star Child

    Oscar Wilde

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    In order to provide English learners with extensive reading pleasure, it consists of jewels that span the East and West, from literary works of famous writers such as Aesop's fables, Andersen, Shakespeare, and picture brothers to traditional fairy tales from all over the world.
    Show book
  • The Three Languages - cover

    The Three Languages

    Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    The Three Languages is a German fairy tale collected by German brothers, academics, linguists, and cultural researchers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm under number 33 in Grimm's Fairy Tales. They were among the best-known storytellers of folk tales and popularized stories such as "Cinderella", "Hansel and Gretel", "Rapunzel" and "Snow White". The story goes about a son of a count that could learn nothing. Frustrated the count sent his son to a master that could teach him something. One year later son came back saying he now can three languages: what dogs say, what birds say and what frogs say. Angry father drove him out because of son’s uselessness. Will the son manage to survive? How these languages will help him? Find it out by reading this exciting story.
    Show book
  • Classic Goosebumps #18 - Return of the Mummy - cover

    Classic Goosebumps #18 - Return...

    R. L. Stine

    • 0
    • 3
    • 0
    Get Goosebumps with the startling repackage of a best selling classic. Now with bonus materials! After last year's scary adventure, Gabe's a little nervous about being back in Egypt. Back near the ancient pyramids. Back where he saw all those creepy mummies.Then he learns about an Egyptian superstition. A secret chant that is supposed to bring mummies back to life. Gabe's uncle says it's just a hoax.But now it sounds like something's moving in the mummy's tomb.No way a couple of dumb words can wake the dead.Can they?
    Show book