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on 28 November 2013
This is very easy to read and so interesting, I'd recommend it to anyone with even a slight interest in history.
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on 1 January 2015
A gift for someone else and she hasn't said much about it.
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on 13 January 2012
This was on my Christmas wish list, and I am so glad someone bought it for me. Its a very interesting and readable book. I hadn't realized so many people had been locked up in the Tower. I would certainly recommend this as a very good read.
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on 20 March 2013
What a let down. I had great hopes for this book, such a good hook but it's popcorn history at best, written without any questioning of the 'facts' he details as facts when they are anything but, which is odd for a journalist (or maybe not ...). A deeper knowledge and a bit of forethought on some of the bigger questions would have gone a long way to improve what is pretty much a regurgitation of traditional stories. It's a good yarn I suppose if you like that sort of thing but doesn't give anything fresh. My biggest bug bear had to be the way he deals with the whole Princes in the Tower issue (always a good marker for a real historian). Yep, the WOTR is one of my fav periods but Jones spews it out word for word from Thomas More. Any historian worth their salt would advise him to delve a little deeper here, and into Tanner and Wright's report into those bones. Looks like Jones got paid a good upfront fee and hammered this out to pay the mortgage. Next time please do more thorough research. Couldn't understand why he sounded so angry all the time either. My copy's gone to the recycling, couldn't bear a youngster to get hold of it and think it was a proper history book.
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on 24 November 2011
I love anything to do with the Tower of London and this book is a gem.It is so interesting you dont want to put it down.Do not buy this for a present, just keep it for yourself, and let the others buy their own, its a fantastic book!
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on 14 August 2015
Perfect thank you
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on 14 January 2012
Overall this is a great book. It brings the horror, fear and evil that has permeated the Tower to life. Most of the deaths are described (not for the faint hearted) but without sinking to "tabloid press" levels.

The book is very readable - I'm not a fast reader but I got through it in about 4 sittings. As a general history, and as a history of most of the events at the Tower, it is a really good place to start.

I'm not a professional historian - I just like reading good history books. This was one that I thought might give me some new information and I'm happy to say that it did (mainly as regards the menagerie).

My concern is in the omissions and one of these is glaring and can only be down to poor research. Nigel Jones claims that the last man (prior to the firing squad executions of First World War spies) to be executed on Tower Green was Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex, after his failed revolt against Elizabeth I. This is patently wrong. It totally ignores the three deaths by firing squad of Highlanders Shaw and the McPherson brothers in July 1743. This episode is a fascinating one which does not cast the English military commanders in a good light. (John Prebble's "Mutiny" gives all the details).

A second omission/research glitch is that there is no mention of the Tower execution site memorial. If this had been covered (and there is absolutely no reason why it should not be) Nigel Jones would have picked up on his error regarding Shaw and the McPersons. To me, it looks as if he hadn't visited the Tower since before 2005 (when the memorial was unveiled).

A third, minor - and, perhaps, pedantic - error is his assertion that Ian Mortimer claimed that Edward II escaped from England and died as a hermit on the Continent. The story about Edward II not ending with a red hot poker "where the sun don't shine" is fairly widely accepted as being possible. However, you would have though that Nigel Jones would research back and realise that Mortimer was merely following the assertion made by Paul Doherty.

With the exception of these minor gaffes, the rest of the book was well researched and fascinating. Perhaps NJ needs to do more legwork himself in future?
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on 26 March 2015
excellent
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on 4 May 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book as I just could not put the book down. As it showed how life was and that the punishment fitted the crime.
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on 17 August 2013
The story of The Tower of London told in a clear and interesting style.Would be of interest to students of history of the Monarchy
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