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Buckingham Palace: The Official Illustrated History Paperback – 5 Mar 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Royal Collection Trust; Ill edition (5 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902163184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902163185
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 1.3 x 28.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

When King George III bought the Duke of Buckingham's house in 1761 it was an elegant villa situated in spacious parkland. The Court resided at nearby St James's Palace and the house was intended purely as a comfortable retreat for the King and Queen and their growing family. The story of the reshaping of the house and its gradual transformation into a royal palace forms the basis for this highly readable account. Building his narrative around the lives and the personalities of the monarchs who have lived there - especially George III, George IV, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert - John Martin Robinson describes the changes made to the structure of the building and to its interior design. The sumptuous decoration of the rooms and the exquisite works of art that fill them are illustrated on every spread, serving as a reminder that Buckingham Palace is not only the Queen's official residence but also a superb setting for a world-class art collection. Visitors from all over the world pass through the State Rooms each summer enjoying this unique combination.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patch on 22 July 2011
Format: Paperback
An interesting telling of the history of Buckingham Palace, the book follows its slow and often rocky metamorphosis from a small villa to a State building. The text's fascination lies in its little details during various rebuilds, listing changes, interventions and alterations made and remade by a line of single-minded monarchs and penniless governments, put upon a series of browbeaten architects. It deals with the fabric of the building as well as the politics and the characters which drove it forwards.

My disappointment came from the illustrations - and they were real disappointments. This being the Official *Illustrated* History, I felt my expectations of many and lavish photographs of the interior rooms of the palace were not unreasonable. There are, in fact, ten photographs of interior rooms. To be fair, there are more pre-photography illustrations and watercolours, but what I would have hoped for--and where it particularly missed out, I think--was images providing clearer comparisons of individual rooms throughout history. This would have been useful if for no other reason than that even the best drawn image distorts perspective and scale, so a photograph of the same room would aid perception.

As it is, far too much page space was wasted on reproductions of the paintings on display in the palace. Whilst those which depicted its former residents were valid and useful additions, the rest were superfluous to the actual subject of the palace itself. One or two of the most relevant would have been interesting, particularly if seen in situ, to give a sense of scale and intention, but it felt like very much like the easy way out, to plaster the pages with images of art which one can find anywhere and will have seen a hundred times already.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite being published by Royal Collection Publications (the Crown's publishing arm), this is not the official guidebook to Buckingham Palace; rather it is a history of the building in five colourful chronological chapters. I say `colourful' because there is often more space on a page given over to illustrations than to text, which is no bad thing since the reproductions are well-chosen.

The first chapter traces the beginnings of the site as a `mere' mulberry garden up to the time of the acquisition of what was then Buckingham House by George III. Chapter two witnesses Nash's transformation of the house into a palace for George IV. John Martin Robinson, our guide, writes, "Though incomplete at the time of George IV's death, the new Palace was, at least in parts, a building of great originality and distinction, and it is the work of George IV and Nash, even overlaid by later schemes of lesser quality, which still shines through today."

Chapter three sees the completion of Nash's design under Edward Blore after George IV's death and Nash's own sacking for his perceived extravagance. William IV was uninterested in the building and offered it to parliament when the Palace of Westminster was virtually destroyed by fire in 1834. Robinson remarks that, "George IV ... had conceived the Palace as a grandiose `bachelor pad'. William IV and Queen Adelaide, for whom the Palace had been completed, were an elderly, childless couple. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, by contrast, had a growing family and young children and needed a different scale and type of accommodation."

The transformation under Victoria thus forms the heart of chapter four.
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By jackio on 2 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
Lovely we'll worth one pound
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
BUCKINGHAM PALACE 20 Oct. 2006
By Shannon Deason - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A nice book on one of the most recognizable if not prettiest palace in the world. The text is highly informative and the images are well presented. Buckingham Palace's exterior style is not exactly aweinspiring, it looks like a government building, like the treasury or department of state, it's really the interiors that make this place special. It's a high Georgian tour de force, the interiors are quite simply spectacular; they are elegant and have elan. If you have any interest in the Windsor's or love Georgian style then i highly recommend this book, if you have never seen the interior of this building, you will be pleasantly surprised.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Buckingham Palace, a review 10 Oct. 2007
By Luis Pacheco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be very informative, good selection of pictures. It was interesting to compare the different rooms as they were changed from Queen Victoria through Queen Elizabeth. It lacks pictures and descriptions of the rooms in the new wing of the palace, the one facing the Victoria Monument. I do recommend this book, though, I wish it had more pictures of other rooms.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Buckingham Palace review 21 Dec. 2011
By jotitdown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a lot of information on the background and history of this palace. There are a lot of illustrations, but not near enough pictures of the rooms, the incredible art and furniture, etc. that fill this wonderful building. More information on the current uses for the rooms, and pictures of those rooms, would greatly improve this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Buckinghamn Palace 23 Aug. 2013
By Linda Perez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes I would recommend this book, very beautiful and well illustrated. You won't be disappointed you ordered it for your collection.
Splendour 13 Jun. 2013
By Margery Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the idea of being able to live in a palace but seeing photographs of the rooms in Buckingham Palace makes one wonder about the practical side of it. Visiting would be awe-inspiring and completely different from having to live in such splendour.
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