The Tower of London: The Official Illustrated History

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The Tower of London is one of the most famous and most visited historic monuments in the world, conjuring up images of towering battlements, arms and armor, ravens, the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders, imprisonment, torture, and death. The history of the tower and its buildings is a vast, fascinating, and complex subject, intertwined with the history of England, its government, its kings and queens, its people and its institutions. The myths that surround the tower’s history reflect this and are of interest in ...
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Paperback New 1858941067. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened-128pp | 28.5 x 23 cm | 11 x 9 in. 180 colour illustrations.

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Overview

The Tower of London is one of the most famous and most visited historic monuments in the world, conjuring up images of towering battlements, arms and armor, ravens, the Crown Jewels, Yeoman Warders, imprisonment, torture, and death. The history of the tower and its buildings is a vast, fascinating, and complex subject, intertwined with the history of England, its government, its kings and queens, its people and its institutions. The myths that surround the tower’s history reflect this and are of interest in themselves, but the truth – as so often – is stranger than fiction.

The foundation of the Tower of London took place as a direct result of one of the most remarkable and important events in European history: the conquest by the Normans of the rich and powerful kingdom of England. Securing the country’s most important city was an immediate priority, and within days of his coronation William the Conqueror had ordered fortifications to be built to control its “vast and fickle population.” The supremacy of the castle on the Tower’s site was soon confirmed by the addition of the White Tower, one of the largest structures of its type ever built and the most complete eleventh-century palace building still extant in Europe.

Although a fortress and royal residence for most of its history, it has served many other functions, too. Its best-known role – that of state prison – although frequently exaggerated, was no less real for that: important inmates have included Thomas More, the future Elizabeth I, Walter Ralegh, and Hitler’s Reichsfuhrer, Rudolf Hess, while those murdered or executed within its walls include the ‘Princes in the Tower,’ Henry VI, Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey. But from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century it also housed the country’s most important mint and the royal menagerie of exotic animals, served as the king’s most important arsenal, nerve center of military supply, a weapons factory, for the safekeeping of State papers and the Crown Jewels, and, from the sixteenth century, as a public museum. Today, the Tower remains a living institution, inhabited by over one hundred people, employing over two hundred, with its rich ceremonial life intact. It remains, too, the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, raised there in 1685, and the home of the Yeoman Warders.

This official illustrated history, fully up-to-date in its reflection of the most recent historical and archaeological research, containing over 200 historic views and plans, new photographs and new reconstructions of the Tower at key points in its history, tells its story from its foundation early in the second millenium to the beginning of the third.
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Editorial Reviews

Country Life
Beautifully illustrated … a beguiling and refreshing portrait, accessible and affordable, with much to interest, amuse and surprise the reader.
Whats On in London
Lavishly illustrated … hugely informative.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781858941066
  • Publisher: Merrell Publishers, LTD
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 9.15 (w) x 11.18 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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