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I stayed with friends in central Buckinghamshire, on the north-west edge of the Chiltern Hills, recently.  They laid on a great programme of visits for me, mostly at National Trust properties. (We are all members.)

The first was to Hughenden, the home of 19th century British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, later Earl of Beaconsfield, (1804-1881). P1260859001 Images, in two and three dimensions, of Disraeli abounded throughout the house. I have no idea whether this one was added in his lifetime.P1260862001This was the first we saw inside the house. in the porch.P1260867001But I stopped taking photos of them after that.

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Dining room. The chair with its back to the fireplace has especially low legs, for Queen Victoria. (Won’t she have needed a lower table as well?)

John Tenniel was a great cartoonist (in Punch Magazine for over 50 years) and illustrator, perhaps most well-known for his work on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  It is thought that Disraeli may have been the model for the Mad Hatter.P1260875001P1260879001The feud between Tory Disraeli and Whig W S Gladstone (1809 -1898) was one of the great political confrontations in British 19th century history.  When the latter succeeded the former as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he refused to pay for the furniture of 11 Downing Street, so Disraeli refused to hand over the Chancellor’s robe.  It has been at Hughenden ever since.P1260885001

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This Trust volunteer seemed to fit the library so well.

P1260890001Over the mantelpiece of this bedroom is a double portrait of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, given by the Queen to Disraeli in grateful recognition of his securing funding for the Albert Memorial.P1260892001

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Political insult ain’t what it used to be.

P1260902001Disraeli was a prolific novelist throughout his life.  (He wrote a novel, not as well-known as some of the others, though still available, called Venetia.)  Here is one of his better known, Sybil. A whole room was devoted to his writings.P1260904001During World War II, Hughenden was known as Hillside, a secret target map-making base, and there was an exhibition about this in the basement.P1260908001P1260909001P1260910001P1260915001

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Reconstruction of the resident family’s sitting room

It was good to go outside to the rear garden.P1260916001P1260918001P1260919001P1260923001P1260925001P1260926001P1260927001P1260928001P1260929001P1260931001I noticed these original hinges on the stable doors P1260932001P1260933001 Buckinghamshire is red kite country, and, back at my hosts’ house, I was pleased to see the birds swooping overhead, though less pleased with my photographic efforts.  However, one kite kindly settled in a tree some way away. P1260935001P1260959001Not one, but two National Trust properties the next day, (though one did not allow inside photography).