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on 30 October 2013
The book consists of 50 glossy picture filled pages (including two pull out covers), but is rather lacking in detail. I'm guessing the guide is primarily aimed at visiting school kids and foreign tourists who will need a labeled plan to help them distinguish the Gatehouse from the Keep, will need a sentence or two explaining the basic architectural features, and who will be impressed by a few words on the various Royals who've visited or commissioned works at the castle over the centuries e.g. David I of Scotland, Edward I, Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, Mary Queen of Scots...... Even when the guide mentions a significant event or visitor it fails to offer much in the way of background information e.g. The guide mention the castle was unsuccessfully besieged by Robert the Bruce, in 1315, but fail to mention that both Robert's father and grandfather were governor of the Castle, and had even successfully defended the castle and town from the previous Scottish attack in 1296. The guide really could do with a few more pages, primarily for the EH members who are more than likely to have a basic grasp of Britain's history; a timeline and several pages on the people and events at the castle would significantly improve the guide and possibly encourage a few more bodies to buy a new guide at the Castle, rather than seek a cheap and probably not preloved guide on Amazon.
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on 15 April 2015
This is one of the new series of English Heritage guidebooks, easily distinguishable with the vertical format and red border and spine.
As such, it closely follows the usual editorial line for the collection, with the contents divided into two main parts: the tour of the castle with explanation of transformations throughout time as the tour progresses around the building.
Then the guide carries on with the history of the castle in the broader context of events in which the castle got involved.
Because it is aimed at all and any visitor, the content is pitched to be both accessible and as specific enough.
To support the reading and increase the enjoyment of the contents, the books is abundantly illustrated in full colours.
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