Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London Hardcover – 13 Oct 2011
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"In writing about the Tower's glory days, Nigel Jones has produced a wonderfully rollicking history of England itself. Told with relish, it should be a godsend to any history teacher who needs to hold the attention of his pupils" (Daily Mail)
"A breezy account of the Tower's past is full of surprises . . . Nigel Jones knows how to tell a tale with just enough detail to make the story work in any period since the 11th century . . . thrilling history" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Much as I love books on Britain's past, it is a long time since I found one which enthralled me as much as the 400 pages of this volume. Jones tells the colourful story in an equally lively fashion, and the two sections of black and white plates, from the Bayeux Tapestry to the Krays, are well chosen. An epic history - and an epic read indeed" (Bookbag)
"In the hands of Nigel Jones we have an excellent contemporary guide, providing the right mix of scholarship and storytelling, insight and narrative pace, to offer a cracking history of the Tower." (Sunday Express)
"Jones weaves yarns from the Tower's past into the familiar tapestry of English history. His prose is dashing" (Times Literary Supplement)
A compelling narrative history of the Tower of London from William the Conqueror to the present daySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Nigel Jones' excellent book sheds light upon both the majesty and bloody deeds of the Tower itself - and British History.
Unfortunately there are far too many errors in this book as currently presented; for example, Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, not 1838, the date at one point switches from 1674 to 1664, 1513 should obviously be 1613 (in the Overbury section) and the King in 1436 was Henry VI, not Henry V. Perhaps worst of all, the book shows a complete lack of understanding of the peerage. Duke and Earl are not synonymous, neither are Duchess and Countess. Characters change their name and rank frequently; for example, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, suddenly becomes Earl of Suffolk, his daughter Catherine becomes Katherine before reverting to Catherine, and Margaret Plantagenet Pole, niece of Edward IV and Richard III, is twice called Duchess of Salisbury and twice called by her real title, Countess of Salisbury.
These errors cannot but detract from this book; if you know some things you're being told are wrong, how can you believe others? I'd urge Nigel Jones to correct this book before the paperback edition and make it as good as it deserves to be.
There is much in this book that I found new - and I am an avid reader of history books - but at the same time the Tower is accessible and as good a place as any to learn about the period and saga of the monarchy which runs through it.
Sometimes the author assumes that the reader knows facts that haven't yet been mentioned in the book, for example p53 "For all his devotion to his wife Elanor, Edward 1 was a vicious and relentless enemy." He has not told us about Edward's marriage or the crosses he had built to mark his wife's death, so for some readers this remark would make no sense. There are also small mistakes for instance Anne of Bohemia's funeral took place at Westminister nor Windsor as stated; Hainalt is at one point located in France and later the modern Netherlands.
So this is ok as an amuzing and rather biased look at the Tower's past, but if you are looking for facts, check them out from other sources.
For a book which covers such a span of history, and is so packed with information, this is an easy and highly enjoyable read, that shows admirably what a fascinating, though often grim, place the Tower has been, and continues to be.
I can't wait to visit the Tower again and to see with fresh eyes the places so expertly described in these pages - it will mean much more to me now, having read this excellent account.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an enjoyable read. It is quite well written and is generally easy to get into. It takes a look at the history of the Tower of London, including its use as a menagerie,... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Mrs. TK Ellis
If it were possible to award no stars to this book I would. It's impossible to list all the historical mistakes it contains. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Liz
Little did one wonder before reading this book that the Tower of London had played such a pivotal role in the history of The British Isles. Read morePublished 14 months ago by bibliophile
A very interesting and historic read. It kept me intrigued and wanting to read more for the majority of the book. Some really interesting facts, some I knew some I didn't. Read morePublished 16 months ago by 01zesty01
A wonderful history of the Tower of London written in a very 'readable' style, full of anecdotes about the people who lived, worked and were imprisoned there. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Outdoor girl