The Palace: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 Years of History at Hampton Court
‘If a house could gossip, this is the book that Hampton Court would whisper. An enjoyable and readable stroll through 500 years of Hampton Court history: royal residents, common visitors, thieves, invaders and ghosts’ PHILIPPA GREGORY
For centuries, Hampton Court has been a place of power, scandal and intrigue: a stage for events that shaped the nation. The Palace raises the curtain on 500 years of British history with royals, politicians, criminals, and geniuses all playing their parts.
Hampton Court has been an arc of monarchy, revolution, religious fundamentalism, sexual scandals, and military coups. In this rich and vivid history, Gareth Russell moves through the rooms and the decades, each time focusing on a different person who called Hampton Court their home.
Beginning with the Tudors, Russell takes the reader from the kitchens of Henry VII and the dreams of Anne Boleyn to Elizabeth I’s brush with death and the staging of Shakespeare’s plays. To the commissioning of the King James Bible, the republican victories of Oliver Cromwell, the many mistresses of Charles II and their laxative-laced attempts to embarrass one another. The gossip and feuds of Georgian aristocrats lead into the era of the Windsors when Hampton Court becomes the place to host Elizabeth II’s coronation ball and hide the last Tsar’s sister.
Fascinating and engaging, The Palace is as atmospheric as it is gossipy and through the many sovereigns and servants that lived and worked in its halls reveals the personal tragedy and political importance of this extraordinary place.
A BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF 2023 -
”'A fascinating chronicle … brilliantly researched…a history of the British monarchy seen through the prism of Hampton Court” - THE TIMES
”'Riotously readable … Russell gives a tender and affectionate account of a royal palace that is less about bricks and mortar than the men and women who down the centuries have breathed it into glamorous, scandalous and tragic life” - MAIL ON SUNDAY
”'Scintillating…it’s hard to imagine anyone writing a better version of the book Russell sets out to write than the racy delight we have here” - SPECTATOR
”'A serious, densely researched and fascinating portrait of Hampton Court Palace, focusing on the people who lived and loved there. His historical narrative, continental in its political scope, ranges from the Tudors to the Windsors and is informed by lively social history… he is an engaging storyteller” - COUNTRY LIFE
”'If a house could gossip, this is the book that Hampton Court would whisper. An enjoyable and readable stroll through 500 years of Hampton Court history: royal residents, common visitors, thieves, invaders and ghosts” - PHILIPPA GREGORY
'Rollicking, gossipy and effortlessly learned, The Palace is what Hampton Court would say if its walls could talk. Gareth Russell is a born storyteller and this is a wonderful human history of one of Britain’s most captivating buildings.' -
DAN JONES -
”'Vibrant, exciting, enthralling a superb panoramic history, bursting with scholarship, wit and riveting detail. A beautifully written, fascinating book about those who have lived and loved at Hampton Court” - KATE WILLIAMS
‘With scholarly accuracy but also a novelist’s eye for a telling detail or anecdote, he shows how the palace constitutes a long, broad and golden thread running through over half a millennium of British history’ -
ANDREW ROBERTS -