Benjamin Disrael (1st Earl Of Beaconsfield)
Disraeli visited Bath for the first time with Edward Bulwer Lytton, later Lord Lytton, in January, 1833. They are said to have stayed at the White Hart; but a letter that Disraeli wrote from Bath at that time casts some doubt on this assumption. ‘We have a lodging at £2 per week in an unfashionable part of the town’ he wrote, ‘with no servant and do everything but cook our own dinners, to which Bulwer was very inclined-we have two sitting-rooms, and scribble in solitude in the morning until two-I have written about fifty pages of a pretty tale about Iskander, which will be a fine contrast to Alroy’. This certainly does not seem to indicate the White Hart, which was then presided over by Moses Pickwick, and noted for its comfort and service. The two scribblers, it would seem, lodged at a less prestigious establishment.
Alroy, the novel on which Disraeli was engaged at that time, was an exotic fantasy that was to be glowingly praised by William Beckford, although it never sold well; the ‘pretty tale about Iskander’, a story of love, war and patriotism, was included in the novel. And Bulwer-Lytton was probably writing The Last Days of Pompeii, which was published during the following year, 1834.
In 1861, Disraeli bought a house in Bath, at 8 Brock Street. By that time he was a politician of considerable eminence; he had been Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons in Lord Derby’s government two years previously, and he was soon to become Prime Minister. There would have been few opportunities, it seems, to visit Bath although he must have intended to do so.