Manor house where William Makepeace Thackery wrote ‘Vanity Fair’ for sale for £2.95 million
Rookley Manor at Up Somborne, near Stockbridge in Hampshire is a Gothik fronted Grade II* listed house that was home to William Makepeace Thackeray whilst he wrote Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero.
The acclaimed author, at that point described as a “virtual widower” due to his wife having been held in a mental institution since 1842, was loaned Rookley by the 2nd Earl of Yarborough, Charles Anderson-Pelham between 1847 and 1848. The novel was first published as a series of extracts in Punch magazine and takes its title from John Bunyan’s allegorical story The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Hailed as a “literary treasure” even before the last parts were published and described as a “dark portrayal of human nature”, Vanity Fair has since been repeatedly adapted for television, film and radio. Mira Nair’s 2004 version, starring Reese Witherspoon, is particularly notable and rewrites Becky Sharp as “a sympathetic character, whose faults are understandable”.
Rookley Manor, which is situated at the heart of the Test Valley, has many other fascinating historical connections and was leased as a hunting lodge to HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn between 1776 and 1783. It was one of the many locations that George IV and Maria Fitzherbert conducted their clandestine relationship during the 1790s and it is said that the Prince so liked the tennis court at Rookley, that he had it dug up and moved to nearby Crawley Court, a house he was leasing at the time.
The house itself now includes 4 reception rooms, 8 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and comes with 10.65 acres of land. There is a swimming pool, two walled gardens and a tennis court that is in need of resurfacing.
Agents Strutt & Parker seek offers over £2,950,000 for the property.
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