Sybil (novel)


Sybil (novel)

"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. As the title suggests, Disraeli is 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 propagandistic furor over the squalor that was plaguing England's working class cities.

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

The subtitle, "The Two Nations", has five main sources:

# Plato writes in "The Republic" that each city contains two cities "warring with each other, one of the poor, the other of the rich."
# 1805: Charles Hall writes, "The people in a civilised state may be divided into different orders; but for the purpose of investigating the manner in which they enjoy or are deprived of the requisites to support the health of their bodies and minds, they need only be divided into two classes, viz., the rich and the poor."
# 1835: Alexis de Tocqueville writes of "two rival nations" (the rich and the poor).
# 1841: William Channing writes, "In most large cities there may be said to be two nations, understanding as little of one another, having as little intercourse as if they lived in different lands."
# 1845: Engels writes that the working class and the bourgeoisie are like "two radically dissimilar nations, as unlike as difference of race could make them."

Disraeli's interest in this subject stemmed from his involvement in the Chartist movement, which may be called the most successful failure of Victorian England. Thomas Carlyle sums up the movement in his 1839 essay "Chartism". The essay begins by stating, "A feeling very generally exists that the condition and disposition of the Working Classes is a rather ominous matter at present; that something ought to be said, something ought to be done, in regard to it." Chartism failed as a parliamentary movement (bills in Parliament were twice stuck down); however, five of the six central tenets of Chartism would become a reality during the 19th century. The only one never to become a reality would be Annual Parliaments.

Chartism demanded:
# Universal suffrage for men
# Secret Ballot
# Removal of property requirements for Parliament
# Salaries for Members of Parliament (MPs)
# Electoral districts
# Annually elected Parliament

Characters

*Sybil Gerard
*Charles Egremont
*Lord Marney
*Lord Henry Sydney
*Lord de Mowbray
*Rigby
*Taper
*Tadpole
*Lady St. Julians
*Marchioness of Deloraine
*Baptist Hatton
*Aubrey St. Lys
*Sidonia
*Devilsdust
*Dandy Mick
*Walter Gerard (Sybil's father)
*Stephen Morley
*Mr. Mountchesney

External links

*gutenberg|no=3760|name=Sybil, or The Two Nations


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sybil — In antiquity, the oracular seeresses of the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean were referred to by the Greek term sibyls . In modern times, when Sibyl is adopted for a woman s name, the conventional spelling is Sybil .People*Sybil (Lynch),… …   Wikipedia

  • Sybil Thorndike — Sybil Thorndike, Lady Casson Sybil Thorndike photographed in 1943 Born Agnes Sybil Thorndike 24 October 1882(1882 10 24) Gainsborough, Lincolnshire …   Wikipedia

  • Sybil Claiborne — Sybil Claiborne, novelist, short story writer, and antiwar activist, published stories in magazines like The New Yorker and Esquire . Some of her writing was the basis for a program of comedy dramas performed in Manhattan in 1978 at Symphony… …   Wikipedia

  • Sybil Ruscoe — (born 8 August, 1960 in Shropshire, England), is a radio and television presenterRuscoe began on the Express and Star newspaper in Wolverhampton. Then moved to Radio Wyvern in Worcester, Beacon Radio and BBC Radio Shropshire. She then teamed up… …   Wikipedia

  • Sybil (roman, 1845) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Sybil. Sybil, or The Two Nations Auteur Benjamin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pompeii (novel) — Infobox Book name = Pompeii image caption = Cover of the paperback edition author = Robert Harris illustrator = cover artist = country = United Kingdom language = English genre = Novel publisher = Random House pub date = 2003 media type =… …   Wikipedia

  • Lady Sybil Vimes — infobox Discworld character| name=Lady Sybil Vimes description=a formidable yet kindly aristocratic lady associations=Sam Vimes location= Ankh Morpork firstseen= Guards! Guards! alsoin= Men at Arms , Feet of Clay , Jingo , The Fifth Elephant… …   Wikipedia

  • Democracy: An American Novel —   First editio …   Wikipedia

  • Coningsby (novel) — Coningsby, or The New Generation, is an English political novel by Benjamin Disraeli published in 1844. Contents 1 Background 2 Story 3 Characters 4 See also …   Wikipedia

  • The Pale Horse (novel) — The Pale Horse   Dust jack …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.