LONDON — Northwest of London, among the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire, lies Hughenden Manor. For 33 years, it was the home of Benjamin Disraeli, Britain’s first — and thus far only — Jewish prime minister.
In the early 1860s, Disraeli decided to have the house remodeled. Its modest 18th century Georgian features were stripped away. In their place, Gothic-style battlements and pinnacles were erected. The result, one architectural historian suggested, was “excruciating.”
Disraeli, however, was delighted. The works, he wrote a friend, were a “romance he had been many years realizing.” The manor’s terraces were ones “in which cavaliers might roam.”