"A Strange Romance" is a dual biography of Benjamin and Mary Anne Disraeli. It traces the stories of the Disraelis in the years before their meeting and reveals the history of their unusual courtship and marriage. It explores the afterlife of Romanticism; the intersection of fact and fiction; and the roles available to 19th-century women who, like Mary Anne Disraeli, sought to move beyond the circumstances of their birth to live emotionally fulfilling and socially stimulating lives.
I have two projects related to this book that would benefit immeasurably from the input of a research partner.
The first is a general research role and would involve the research partner undertaking background research on a variety of topics relating to Victorian literature and Victorian Britain. These topics would include researching the relationship and parallels between Disraeli and other 19th-century novelists, such as Dickens, Trollope, and Thackeray; background research on the literary landscape of Britain in the 1820s; and gathering and summarizing material on the clubs, shops, and social makeup of London at different points in the century. Other mini-projects could be dictated by the interests of the research partner, as well as the demands of my book, but could include such multidisciplinary tasks as mapping the Disraelis’ visits to the grand country houses of Britain by time, place, and political allegiance.
A second project that would benefit enormously from the input of a research partner is more specific and would entail contextualizing the unpublished correspondence of Mary Anne Disraeli, transcriptions of which I will bring with me to Radcliffe. The correspondence brims with detail and features appearances from many notable figures of the 19th century.
Both roles would need a research partner with a working knowledge of British 19th-century literature and history, an eye for detail, and a willingness to work independently. He or she would have access to an archive of unparalleled richness and an opportunity to pursue his or her own research interests within the confines of the project. In addition, he or she would have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a fascinating period, to help shape the story my book will relate, to learn new research skills, and to witness some of the challenges inherent and techniques involved in biographical writing.