Peter Murray

51EefVKoDrLThe Story of the Tower of London

by Tracy Borman. Merrell, 2015. £19.95. merrellpublishers.com

Review by Giles Waterfield

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The long history of the Tower of London – one of a very small group of buildings in Britain that has been continuously occupied for 1,000 years or so ó has been frequently interpreted and reinterpreted. The Tower has been seen, particularly in the 19th century, as the epitome of English history, notably in the endlessly popular Tudor period. Its complex tradition, as palace (or at least royal residence in times of crisis), fortress, prison, place of execution, armoury, garrison, showplace, menagerie and village, has given it a particular resonance. Anyone experiencing it on a summer afternoon today (or indeed a winter morning), buffeted by tourists from around the world, can see how powerful its appeal remains.

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