A “riotously readable…tender and affectionate” (Daily Mail, London) exploration of five hundred years of British history—from King Henry VIII to Queen Elizabeth II—as seen through the doorways of the exquisite Hampton Court Palace.
Architecturally breathtaking and rich in splendid art and décor, Hampton Court Palace has been the stage of some of the most important events in British history, such as the commissioning of King James’s version of the Bible, the staging of many of Shakespeare’s plays, and Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation ball.
The Palace takes us on “an entertaining journey into the past” (Kirkus Reviews) as it reveals the ups and downs of royal history and illustrates what was at play politically, socially, and economically at the time. An engaging and charming history book that is perfect for fans of Alison Weir, Philippa Gregory, and Andrew Lownie, The Palace makes you feel as if you were in the room as history was made.
About the Author
Educated at Oxford University and Queen’s University, Belfast, Gareth Russell is a historian, novelist, and playwright. He is the author of several books, including The Palace, The Ship of Dreams, Young and Damned and Fair, The Emperors, and Do Let’s Have Another Drink. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Named Book of the Year by BBC History Magazine
“An entertaining journey into the past.” – Kirkus
“Riotously readable…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 (UK)
“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.” —The Spectator (Australia)
“A delight.” —Publishers Weekly
“A joy to read...With this book [Gareth Russell] cements his place as one of the UK's foremost popular historians.” —Aspects of History (Best Book of 2023)
“Some of the greatest achievements and worst excesses of British history unfolded at the sprawling royal estate of Hampton Court…It has been the setting for decades of political turmoil, religious dispute, scandal and intrigue…Mr. Russell, a meticulous researcher, [chronicles a] dizzying number of dukes, duchesses, ambassadors, princes, kings, mistresses, stable boys, lamplighters and chocolatiers.” —Wall Street Journal
“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, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“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, bestselling author of The Plantagenets and Powers & Thron
“Gareth Russell deftly scrolls through five centuries of Hampton Court history, parading before us past owners and occupants and reveling in the significant events, splendid celebrations and salacious scandals that took place within the precincts of a palace dubbed ‘an earthly paradise’ by one awestruck early visitor.” —Anne Somerset, author of Elizabeth I and Queen Anne: The Politics of Passion
“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, author of The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots and Young Elizabeth: The Making of The Queen