Mary Disraeli, 1st Viscountess Beaconsfield

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Mary Anne Disraeli, 1st Viscountess Beaconsfield (11 November 1792–15 December 1872) was a British peeress and society figure, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

Born Mary Anne Evans in Tongwynlais, Cardiff, she first married Wyndham Lewis, MP and after his death she remarried to Benjamin Disraeli. It was as in recognition of his services to the nation that Queen Victoria made Mary Anne a peeress in her own right, Viscountess Beaconsfield of Beaconsfield in the County of Buckingham, as Benjamin wished to remain in the House of Commons. (After Mary Anne's death he accepted the title of Earl of Beaconsfield.)

Staid Victorians were often scandalised by Mary Anne's uninhibited remarks but soon learned not to insult her within Disraeli's hearing.[citation needed] Even Queen Victoria herself was said to be amused when Mary Anne commented, in response to a remark about some lady's pale complexion, "I wish you could see my Dizzy in his bath!" Once, at a house party where Lord Hardinge, a great soldier of the day, was in the room next to the Disraelis, Mary Anne announced at breakfast that she had slept the night before between the greatest soldier (Hardinge) and the greatest orator (Disraeli) of their times, and Lady Hardinge was definitely not amused.[citation needed]

Disraeli had been unimpressed by Mary Anne when he first met her, but he came to understand that she was shrewder than her outwardly silly manner and non-sequiturs had led him to believe, and she was a great help to him in editing the books he wrote.[citation needed] He joked that he had married her for her money but would do it again for love, but the truth is that she was not really wealthy. She was some twelve years older than her husband, and he may not have known her true age, but their romance continued until the day she died.[citation needed]

She is buried with Disraeli in a vault in the little church in Hughenden, Buckinghamshire, from which their home, Hughenden Manor, took its name. That house has been preserved, as it was when they left it, as a museum the public may visit.[citation needed]

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