Review: The Tower of London, The Biography by Stephen Porter

Title: The Tower of London, The Biography
Author: Stephen Porter
Publisher: Amberley on 17 November 2012
Genre: Non-Fiction
Labels: History, Biography, History of Tower of London, London, England, British Monarchy, British History
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 288 pages, 112 illustrations (60 are in color)
Rating: 5 Stars
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the first historical places a tourist visits in London. In a guided tour group tourists are shown the grounds and various buildings, and told of the historical events that happened there. Darker tales of people who were prisoners and many who were later executed are shared with the tourists. But, not all these fascinating stories that are told are correct, some are traditions and or legends.
Stephen Porter has written a fascinating and beautiful historical book on the Tower of London. He has bypassed traditional stories, and has worked to write a book with accurate historical information. 
From the beginnings of the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066. The Tower was then built to be a fortification for William's newly captured city of London. It was built on the southeast quadrant of London and near the Thames river. The building was begun in 1078. An administrator named Gundulf was hired to build the first tower, which would later be named the White Tower. The tower was made from Caen stone, its "walls were 12-15 feet thick". It was in the 1200's that the White Tower was whitened. Most of the Tower of London's buildings were built during the middle ages, and "in its form as it is today." The author writes vivid descriptions of each of the buildings and their purposes. Most fascinating to me were the stories of men and women who were housed in the buildings as prisoners. A few of these stories I'd heard before, many of them were new to me. I was especially interested to read of the two princes that were placed in the tower during the upheaval and change of monarch to Richard III, these two boys were never seen again. A brief story of Sir Thomas More is also told, and his imprisonment in the tower. A more sinister part of the book is the description of the underground torture room.

Positive Points:
  •  Beautiful stunning photographs, many of them in color. 
  • Accurate information on a landmark of London, England. This landmark is known to most of the world as both a famous and infamous site.
  • Stories included of both well-known historical figures, and those not as well-known. To me it was the stories of those people I'd not heard of before that made this book unique. 
  • A book that can be read and re-read with as much fascination as the first time when it was read.
  • Modern history of the Tower is given. From its beginnings in 1078 up until the 21st Century.
  • Not only was I given the history of the Tower of London, but a brief history of England.
I found no negative points. The book in my opinion was everything I'd hoped it would be. I loved reading this book, and I plan to use it as a source of accuracy against any other books I read on the Tower of London, and England.

Thank you to Amberley Publishing and Stephen Porter for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Link @ BookFellas in UK:

Book will be available in the U.S. March 2013. 

Link @ Amazon: