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Treasures of Westminster Abbey Paperback – 1 Jul 2008

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Paperback, 1 Jul 2008
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Scala Publishers Ltd (1 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857594541
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857594546
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 1.7 x 28.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,234,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Tony Trowles joined the staff of Westminster Abbey Library in 1993 and has been Librarian since 1998. He previously worked at the Institute of Historical Research, London University. In 2005 he compiled A Bibliography of Westminster Abbey.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrs june king on 22 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
requires more illustrations
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Inventory 15 Aug. 2010
By Rick Kaneen - Published on
Format: Paperback
The previous reviewer is exactly right. This is a lovely book visually - filled with all color photos of some of the most beautiful monuments and dedications in the Abbey plus several pages of plans of the church that are (unlike many books like this) large enough to read without a magnifying glass. Very nice. Unfortunately, while every monument in the Abbey is listed with a few lines about who created it and for whom, there is no commentary whatsoever. So this beautiful book becomes nothing more really than an inventory of the contents of the Abbey. For great history and commentary on Westminster try the little volume "Westminster Abbey" by Richard Jenkyns from Harvard's The Wonders of the World series. I actually looked at the photos in this book while reading Jenkyn's candid and entertaining comments about the statuary and inscriptions and found them to be good companion books. So buy this one for the photos and Jenkyns for the story.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Perfect low-cost memento of the Abbey 22 May 2011
By Jean E. Pouliot - Published on
Format: Paperback
My family and I visited Westminster Abbey last fall and were so awed that we wanted to bring something back as a memento. The abbey bookstore was chock-full of colorful and EXPENSIVE books describing the abbey's many tombs and monuments. But I wasn't ready to part with the better part of $100. This book, at about $25, was perfect. It describes just about every tomb and monument in the place, provides a short history of the building, a summary of each chapel and space, and provides a useful layout. This last item came in handy during the recent wedding of William and Kate, helping us understand where the couple was standing at any particular moment.

Though the book is crammed with beautiful color images, I wish that it had even more. Some of my favorites monuments -- like the monument to General Wolfe -- aren't as well represented as I'd like. But that's what you get when you scrimp on the price! Overall I am thrilled with the book and enjoy thumbing through its many gorgeous pages!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Way to Remember the Abbey! 17 Aug. 2012
By Happy Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
In 2006, I was one of 1,000,000 people to visit Westminster Abbey, and I have a smaller guidebook from that visit. But this book is a great addition to my England memorabilia. You aren't allowed to take pictures inside the Abbey, so I have to rely on books! The book's oversized 11 x 9.5 format is nice for the occasional full-page photo of a part of the abbey. But it's the mostly smaller photos of monuments, windows, etc. that really make this book great. All photos are in color.

To quote the "Note To Readers" preface, this book "describes almost all the tombs, memorials and gravestones that can now be seen at Westminster Abbey, but it certainly does not claim to mention every burial within the church and its precincts; for of this there is no complete record. ... The formal burial register only begins in 1607. ... [Sources] suggest that more than 3,000 people are buried in Westminster Abbey. ... Over the centuries, stones have been replaced or removed and inscriptions have been worn away."

Though every grave might be described, only a portion are pictured. Of necessity, it would be a humongous book if each one had a photo. But almost all graves have nice snippets of biography. I've read quite a bit of English history, but I still ran across people about whom the snippet only whetted my appetite. For example, the Quire has a tablet for William Tyndale, died 1536. His English translation of the New Testament was used much unchanged in the King James Bible. His biographical snippit ends with this line: "Tyndale was burned at the stake in Vilvorde, near Brussels." What?!!

And then there's the photos, bringing back memories of monuments that ranged from awesome to ridiculous. Lady Elizabeth Nightingale's huge monument is awesome. Her husband holds her as he tries to deflect the spear wielded by Death, as a robed skeleton, emerging from an underground vault with heavy metal doors. Cool!

Then the ridiculous - Admiral Sir Clowdisley Shovell, dead at age 57, and shown reclining in Roman robes with his muscled torso bare - and a shoulder-length periwig on his head! Incidentally, we're told that the Admiral was shipwrecked off the Skilly Isles (SW of England). "He was washed ashore ... still alive, but a woman seeing his emerald ring killed him for it."

I remember standing outside the Abbey, looking up at the niche statues high on the West Front, and thinking, "Wait a minute, that looks like Martin Luther King!". I wasn't imagining it. Most of the reachable outside statues were destroyed as Popish when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries. These niches stayed empty until 1998, when they decided to fill them with statues of modern Christian martyrs. These are pictured in this book, too.

Though they couldn't have a photo of every monument, they could have had a few more if they had left out the portraits of people, where the portraits are hanging somewhere other than the Abbey. For example, Sir Godfrey Kneller has an interesting biographical snippet, but no photo of his monument. However, the book does have a photo of his portrait hanging in the National Portrait Gallery. That's a waste of space for this book; they could have shown his or someone else's monument which is actually in the Abbey.

However, that's a quibble, and did not really diminish my enjoyment of Treasures of Westminster Abbey.

Happy Reader
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Laundry list 30 Mar. 2010
By DW - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This nicely illustrated book provides a fairly comprehensive listing of the monuments, tombs, statuary and memorial plaques in Westminster Abbey, but to my disappointment, does not offer any commentary about the artistic merits, of lack thereof, of these items.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
treasures of westminster abbey 18 July 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Makes me feel that i saw nothing during our tour. What an amazing book of ideas, people, monuments, and burials.
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