This country manor not only gives insight into the age of Victoria but also acquaints us with a remarkable man: Benjamin Disraeli, one of the most enigmatic figures of 19th-century England. At age 21, "Dizzy" anonymously published his five-volume novel, Vivian Grey. In 1839, he married an older widow for her money, though they apparently developed a most harmonious relationship. He entered politics in 1837 and continued writing novels, his later ones meeting with more acclaim.
In 1848, Disraeli acquired Hughenden Manor, a country house that befitted his fast-rising political and social position. He served briefly as prime minister in 1868, but his political fame rests on his stewardship as prime minister from 1874 to 1880. He became friends with Queen Victoria, who, in 1877, paid him the rare honor of a visit. In 1876, Disraeli became earl of Beaconsfield; he died in 1881. Instead of being buried at Westminster Abbey, he preferred the simple little graveyard of Hughenden Church.
Today, Hughenden houses an odd assortment of memorabilia, including a lock of Disraeli's hair, letters from Victoria, and a portrait of Lord Byron.