Inheriting Antiquity: Political Genealogy in Disraeli and Renouvier

  • Ben CarverEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


This chapter focuses on alternate histories which describe revised genealogies of culture and politics from antiquity to the present day. In The Wondrous Tale of Alroy (1833) , Benjamin Disraeli inserts an apocryphal episode into twelfth-century Jewish history, which implies a messianic legacy to be redeemed by him, as a writer and politician. Charles Renouvier also reimagines the cultural and political inheritance of antiquity in Uchronie (l’utopie dans l’histoire) (1876) , but uses the presentation of a better, more secular history of Europe to argue for the separation of Church and State, and against a philosophy of history predicated on the inevitability of progress. The contexts for the discussion are the transformations of historical interpretation and ideas regarding the evolutionary progress of mankind.


Renouvier Disraeli inheritanceInheritance Wondrous Tale Alternative History 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishFalmouth UniversityPenrynUK

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