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Hampton Court: A Social and Architectural…
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Hampton Court: A Social and Architectural History

by Simon Thurley

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One of the many surprises while reading this marvelous book is the fact that the layout and position of the so called Henry VIII's kitchens were in fact already constructed under Giles Daubeney, between 1495-1500, so even before cardinal Wolsey.
In the last chapter on the Tudor period of the palace, Thurley introduces the term Chivalric ecclecticism. It seems that Henry VIII selected historical figures for chivalric virtues, and used these to decorate the palace. Unfortunately, the evidence is flimsy and the author spent just a few words to illustrate his case.
A bit confusing is the part on the so-called Georgian House, which according to the text (pages 261-262) was built under George I, while according to the illustrations (fig. 254 & 255) it was built under George II. Finally, for the restoration of the Privy Garden (1992-1996) the experience which resulted from the reconstruction of the gardens at Het Loo must have been very helpful, which is however not acknowledged in the text, whereas for the State Apartments it is (pag. 388). The name of the former director of Het Loo is Adriaan Vliegenthart, not Adrain Vliegenhardt. ( )
  yvlind1 | May 12, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300102232, Hardcover)

Hampton Court - probably Britain's most important secular historic building complex - is a fascinating collection of buildings, gardens and parks spanning seven hundred years of history. A centre of court life and politics from the late 15th to the middle of the 18th century, a place of architectural innovation, the site of the most ambitious formal gardens ever built in Britain, Hampton Court is still, in many respects, a mystery both to the historian and to the interested visitor. This is a history of Hampton Court and of its gardens and parks, revealing the full complexity of its remarkable building history and illuminating the interplay of court life, politics and architecture. The history of the building is taken right up to the beginning of the 21st century. The 20th-century story of Hampton Court is one of conservation and of changing attitudes towards opening up the complex to the public. It covers everything from the agonizing discussions as to whether to build public lavatories to an account of the private enterprise that caused an octogenarian to make a personal fortune out of opening the maze to the public. It includes also the story of the terrible fire of 1986 and its aftermath. Social history and architectural history sit side by side in this account. New and important attributions are made to the architects Hugh May, Nicholas Hawksmoor, William Talman, Colen Campbell and Edward Blore, amongst others. Moreover, the palace and its setting are placed in their European context and their long-term architectural significance is gauged. The book is illustrated with original paintings, prints and drawings, and a specially commissioned suite of plans and reconstructions reveal the evolving form of the buildings.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:41 -0400)

"The book takes as its starting point the argument that the only way to understand fully a building such as Hampton Court is to set it in the political and social context of its time and to explore the lives and motivations of its builders. The picture that emerges is on the one hand intensely personal - one of architects and builders fulfilling the whims of kings and princes. On the other hand, it is bureaucratic: Hampton Court is revealed first as the royal household, then as a palace claimed by grace-and-favour residents and finally, by visitors and tourists as their own.""The history of the building is taken right up to the beginning of the twenty-first century. The twentieth-century story of Hampton Court is one of conservation and of changing attitudes towards opening up the complex to the public - it covers everything from the agonising discussions as to whether to build public lavatories to an account of the private enterprise that caused an octogenarian to make a personal fortune out of opening the maze to the public. It includes also the story of the terrible fire of 1986 and its aftermath. Social history and architectural history sit side by side in this intriguing account. New and important attributions are made to the architects Hugh May, Nicholas Hawksmoor, William Talman, Colen Campbell and Edward Blore amongst others. Moreover, the palace and its setting are placed in their European context and their long-term architectural significance is gauged. The book is lavishly illustrated with original paintings, prints and drawings, while a specially commissioned suite of plans and reconstructions reveals the evolving form of the buildings."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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