Jilly Cooper Takes Us on a Tour of the House that Inspired Penscombe Court in Her New Book Mount! Transcript
Hello WHSmith readers, I’m really excited to tell you about my new book; Mount! So I hope you’ll enjoy reading it but also now I would like to show you a few places around the garden here that inspired things in the book.
Writing this book, in a way, Rupert Campbell-Black’s house is based on this house, although his house is much grander, and in the story he has a huge racing yard all the way over there. But it inspires me because I can look out across the valley and think that he lives here.
And that’s where I used to work my gazebo and I’m so messy that I’ve already filled that up with research for all the other books. So I’ve had to move inside again, but that’s where I used to work, in there. Which was a dear little place.
In one of my earlier books Rupert Campbell-Black plays nude tennis with a girl, and this girl comes rushing on to say ‘your stable is on fire, your house is on fire’ and actually he’s burning his stable and she’s very shocked. Anyway, she rushes in and finds him playing nude tennis, and this is our tennis court which you’ll love. A photographer came the other day and he said “oh, I can see Federer has been here last week” [laughs] so come and see. I might restore it one day.
This is the graveyard I love because all my animals since the last 30 years are buried here and a lot of them appeared in the books. Gertrude the mongrel who was Taggie’s dog she adored, and Feather my greyhound who is based on Forester in Mount! It says here ‘In sweet loving memory of Feather, died September 2014. His noble heart only failed because he gave so much of it away.’ Isn’t that lovely? Also, Feral my cat who is based on, there was a cat called Purrpuss (joke) in Mount! And so Rupert Campbell-Black has a graveyard where all his favourite animals are buried. And all the animals here, they’ve all appeared in my books in different forms because there are always far too many dogs and horses.
Everybody calls that Mrs. Thatcher. You can see why can’t you. It’s supposed to be where the trees go into the field there.
And now I’ve shown you bits of the garden which relate to the book, and I really, really hope you enjoy reading it.