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Inspiring a Novel: Sezincote House

Sezincote House inspired the setting for the manuscript I currently wok on. It’s a symbol of a society linked to Indian culture, which is apparent in the architectural style. This closeness to India in the Regency era is what I’m trying to evoke, and this estate has, in my mind, emerged as a sound example.

Colonel John Cockerell, having arrived from Bengal, purchased the lands in 1795. However, he passed a few years after, and his brother, Charles Cockerell, inherited the estate. He employed Samouel Pepys Cockerell, another brother, to construct a house with Indian styling. Talk about keeping it in the family.

Samuel Pepys Cockerell, though having never set foot in India, designed a house to fit his brother’s commission. He infused Persian and Indian elements into the structure. In my research, Sezincote House has been described as a British reinterpretation of the architecture from the reign of Akbar, a Mughal Emperor.

Humphrey Repton designed the gardens in a renaissance style with additions of Hindu features. The crescent bridges and choice of plants reflect the Hindi culture.

Finished in 1805, Sezincote House stood as a remarkable feat. The Prince Regent even visited the estate, and so mesmerized was he, he had the Royal Brighton Pavilion modeled after it.

For me, Sezincote House has become the voice of my current manuscript. It reflects an era fraught with corruption from the nabobs returning to England after making their fortunes in India. It’s wealth. It’s greed. It’s the perfect backdrop for romance and mystery.

 

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