Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting reading, 7 Nov. 2012
By 
This review is from: The Day Parliament Burned Down (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Palace of Westminster is very clearly a Victorian building. I can remember asking my parents why it was so new, a question to which they had no answer. This book is that answer, and it describes an event that at the time was a famous disaster but which has been strangely forgotten. It's an important part of our national story, and it's good to at last have a detailed account of the events of that night.

The author, Caroline Shenton, is in charge of the Parliamentary Archives. She uses narrative techniques to describe the events of the day in 1834 when much of the palace burned down, but at the same time she creates context out of the history of the palace - it had been a royal residence from before the Norman invasion - and the society and practices of the time. The narrative is an exciting read, while the contextual information is for the most part enlightening. Learning about the organisation of the various London fire brigades, and indeed the sinecures and deputisation of duties in the Palace of Westminster, is hugely interesting; we can excuse Shenton a long lament about all the precious documents that were irrevocably lost in the fire.

There are several plans of the Palace and its environs that I found very useful as a reference; the body of the text is 262 pages long, and is followed by extensive notes and an index. There are also some black-and-white plates; this is the only disappointment: it would have been better to see Turner's watercolours of the fire reproduced in colour.

It's pleasing to have a history of a specific event that manages to be informative and almost as exciting to read as an adventure story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.3 out of 5 stars (47 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (21)
4 star:
 (23)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
£18.99 £15.19
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Peter
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: United Kingdom

Top Reviewer Ranking: 160