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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 December 2012
Only downloaded this one cos I used to work there.
Obviously different building now but just as much at risk.
Not a bad read though.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Sadly, I'm somewhat out of tune with the other reviewers of this book. While there is no doubting the research and scholarship that has gone into this, I found there was so much detail to wade through that the many interesting facts were somewhat lost.

As the book progressed, I found that I was skimming over the lists of rescued paintings, the minutely described architectural details and the many, many names of people who played bit parts in this momentous event. For example, when talking about the many injuries that resulted to people who were in one way or another fighting the fire, the author says 'Labourers and mechanics hurt included George Simmons (broken thigh when run over by an engine), John Hay (dislocated shoulder) John Slater (dislocated shoulder and hot lead burns)...' etc etc. In fact, a total of 14 people and their injuries are named in this list, which is only one of many such lists.

Where the book is more interesting is when the author gives us some information about the society of the time. We get a good picture of how the House of Commons worked at that time - the cramped conditions and the bear-pit atmosphere of the big debates surrounding the recently passed Reform Acts. Shenton describes the newly formed fire-fighting authority, telling us how it developed out of the many private outfits run by the insurance companies. Again though she goes into so much detail as to where the various fire engines were placed on the night and where the water pumps were located that the, to me, more interesting information about the structure and management of the new authority gets a little swamped in the sheer weight of facts.

Overall, the book did give me some insight into what it must have been like for the participants and residents on that night but I found it hard-going and struggled to keep my interest alive to the end.
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on 14 August 2015
Perfect thank you
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on 19 May 2015
Enthralling read!
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a meticulously researched book about, as the title would indicate, the day that Parliament burned down. However it is much more than that because the research pulls in so many other things as well -

* the way the Palace of Westminster had grown like a fungus sprouting new wings and rooms until it was a mishmash of badly maintained buildings that were unfit for purpose

* the political situation which, on the one hand made it impossible to remedy the situation by pulling the unfit buildings down and building something new, and the other might have created the circumstances where a disaffected faction might have started the fire

* the hopelessness felt by those whose job it was to run and maintain the building

I found it very interesting, but if you don't like history this is not the book for you. It is not an historical whodunnit but a thorough and somewhat dry account of an historical happening.
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on 12 October 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was a very well written account of an event that I only knew a little about. I thought that it went into just the right amount of detail. Much of the background information is very well chosen and pertinent.

A small gripe is that the plates are only black and white.
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on 22 January 2016
Quite interesting - good social history. Very well-written & easy to understand.
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VINE VOICEon 26 July 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You would think a subject such as this would be dull after a 100 pages, yet Caroline Shenton has managed to make it a really enjoyable read, telling of the old building, the fire, the battle with the fire, aftermath and the new houses of parliment. I really enjoyed this book and it makes a good holiday read as well!
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VINE VOICEon 25 December 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This tells the story of 16 October 1834, when a huge ball of fire exploded through the roof of the Houses of Parliament, creating a blaze so enormous that it could be seen by the King and Queen at Windsor. It's something that is oft forgotten, but this book certainly puts that to right with a wealth of detail and information. Sometimes too much as you got bogged down in who did what and where. That's not surprising as the author works at the Parliamentary Archives in London and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Royal Historical Society. Something that explains the eye for detail. Regardless, it's a worthy topic and a welcome addition to my bookshelves.
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on 3 September 2013
The Day Parliament Burned Down Kindle Edition

Having browsed the book at the Parliament Shop, I decided to buy the Kindle edition. The price was bit high but anyway, I purchased and downloaded. I was very disappointed that the illustrations are not included in the Kindle Edition - there is no warning on Amazon website. I felt it is a waste of money with no illustration.
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