GSAL hosts Lord Douglas Hurd for Ilkley Literature Festival Tuesday 21 October 2014 General News Sixth Form It was Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s charisma that carried him to, in his own words, ‘the top of the greasy pole’, despite an apparent disinterest in policy and social justice. That’s the assessment of Lord Douglas Hurd and Edward Young in the biography they co-authored, Disraeli: or The Two Lives, as Lord Hurd told an audience at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) during the Ilkley Literature Festival. During an engaging talk, Lord Hurd delivered a précis of the key points of the book with great astuteness and humour, describing the rise of Disraeli to high political office, which saw him pull off an impressive transformation from feckless fop to popular politician. Lord Hurd, who served as Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, is well placed to compare modern day politicians with Disraeli, and considers none can match his colourful character. The talk was a wonderful opportunity for sixth form students studying government and politics to hear first-hand from an elder statesman. Dominic Owens, upper sixth, said: “The talk gave us a fascinating insight into the life of Benjamin Disraeli, a British Prime Minister in the 19th century. The talk was very enjoyable to me and all the other students who attended and it was fantastic to hear a talk from someone who is held in such high regard in British politics after holding important roles in government.” Lord Hurd was speaking at GSAL as one of the high profile authors appearing at Ilkley Literature Festival which runs for two weeks in October. GSAL is in the third year of a successful partnership with the festival, as the major sponsor of the Children’s Festival. Lord Douglas Hurd is pictured with Ilkley Literature Festival deputy director Judy Passmore.