On February 10, 1802, D'Israeli married Maria Basevi (1774/5–1847), who came from another Italian-Jewish family living in London. The marriage was a happy one, producing five children: Sarah ("Sa"; 1802–1859); Benjamin ("Ben" or "Dizzy"; 1804–1881) (who was to become a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom); Naphtali (b. 1807, died in infancy); Raphael ("Ralph"; 1809–1898); and Jacobus ("James" or "Jem"; 1813–1868). The children were named according to Jewish customs and the boys circumcised. However, on the advice of his friend the historian Sharon Turner, and in the midst of an eight-year dispute with his synagogue (which ended with his withdrawal from it in 1821), all his children were baptized at St Andrew, Holborn, in 1817, as membership of the Church of England was valued for its social advantages. It was this baptism that allowed his famous son Benjamin to enter Parliament, years before Jews could sit in that legislature. Additionally, D'Israeli had changed the spelling of his children's last name to make it less foreign-seeming. He himself remained a Jew, however.
He wrote an adaptation of Mejnoun and Leila, which is a famous Persian story, but his fame was assured by his best known work, Curiosities of Literature, a collection of anecdotes about historical persons and events, unusual books, and the habits of book-collectors. The work was very popular and sold widely in the 19th century, going through many editions — it was first published in four volumes over several years but then combined into one. It is still in print. His book The Life and Reign of Charles I (1828) resulted in his being awarded the degree of D.C.L. from Oxford University.
In 1841 he became blind and, though he underwent an operation, his sight was not restored. He continued writing, however, and with his daughter's assistance he produced Amenities of Literature (1841) and completed the revision of his work on Charles I. He died of influenza at age 81, at his home, Bradenham House, in Buckinghamshire, less than a year after the death of his wife in the spring of 1847.
Israelis take control of Ramallah, raid camps; Israelis take control of Palestinian city, raid refugee camp; 31 Palestinians, seven Israelis dead
Mar 13, 2002; RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Israeli tanks and troops thrust into Palestinian refugee camps and took command of the streets...