Daisy Hay from Exeter University explores the way in which former prime minister Benjamin Disraeli invented the modern politician as a 'person of feeling'.
Daisy Hay from Exeter University explores the way in which Disraeli invented the modern politician as a man - or woman - of feeling, and asks whether the image he projected as an emotionally in-touch everyman stemmed from fact or fiction?
Politicians talking about their private lives are a commonplace of our age. However, long before it became obligatory for aspiring statesmen and women to be photographed unloading dishwashers and eating sandwiches, Benjamin Disraeli spun a public fantasy about his private life in order to win votes. What lessons does his story have for politicians today ?
Recorded in front of an audience at BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival of Ideas at Sage, Gateshead. All the discussions and essays from the Free Thinking festival are available as Radio 3 Arts and Ideas downloads.
Producer: Harry Parker.