by Christopher Hibbert
New York, Newsweek .
This is a history of the Tower of London, which was built under the direction of William the Conqueror and has a long and bloody history.
Though appearing deceptively short, this oversize and double-columned book is also a long and bloody history. I had a hard time following events, partially because the author wasn't quite sure if he was writing a chronological or topical history, and partially because I do not know my English history particularly well and couldn't for the life of me follow the succession of kings in the middle ages and beyond. At times dry and at other times gruesome, I had a hard time really being interesting in reading this book. On reflection, however, it's served its purpose because I did learn enough to feel that I will better understand what I'm seeing when I visit the Tower for myself.