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Castle Paperback – October 25, 1982
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Top Customer Reviews
All that said, let me tell you something about Castle. Castle, like most of Macaulay's books, tells the story of all features in the building of a great work, in this case it is Aberwyvern, a forbidding castle King Edward I is constructing on the Welsh frontier. Macaulay leads us through the selection of the location for the fortress, the clearing of the earth, the setting of the foundation, and the building of its mighty walls and skyscraping towers. He introduces us to the masons and laborers, soldiers and nobles who will live and work at Aberwyvern. And just when the castle is done, Macaulay shows us a Medieval seige in all its brutal depth, as the native Welsh fiercely battle the invading English and seek to bring down their imposing castle.
This book is truly one for the ages, and I cannot imagine anyone, small child through adult, would not love what they see here! I still have the copy I got when I was little and I get it down from the shelf to read at least a few times a year.
I hope this review was helpful and I hope it leads at least one person who might not have known about Castle to the library or bookseller to discover this special book!
The narrative starts before the first shovel was put to earth in the project, with the political situation between England and Wales at the end of the 13th century. This may sound like a bit much for a child's book, but it really isn't. Without going into excessive detail, it brings out the fact that castles were built with reasons. And with money - even the financing of this project gets a few lines.
The largest part of the book describes the various phases of construction, from the first earthworks and defensive ditches forward. Macaulay describes construction, step by step, including the different kinds of walls and their places in defense of the castle. He describes the homely facts of kitchens, chimneys, and human waste. He mentions the different trades involved, and their tools. Once the castle is built, Macaulay even describes a battle, including the sappers' attacks on the walls we just saw under construction.
And, in the end, he describes the castle as a ruin. Once its purpose is served, it is abandoned and let to fall. Its stones are taken for new, peaceful uses.
This book truly brings the castle to life. I don't mean the people and society within it, but the building itself. We see its birth, its life, and even its valor in battle. Then, we see its death. This book is sure to inform, and even encourage a child's curiousity. If we know what's behind the walls of the castle, then what's behind our modern walls?
Like all of David MacAulay's books, Castle is a great way to introduce your child to art, architecture, engineering and history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can I say about “Castle”? It’s kind of like a picture book about architecture, with an awesome story set in medieval Europe. Read morePublished 22 days ago by James Vachowski
A friend gave me his nearly forty-year old book (my edition was published in 1977). Always on the lookout for some kind of interesting nonfiction, I was enchanted by this book... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anna
I have loved this book since I first came across it in the 3rd grade. I consider it a classic! It helped my imagination run free for years of daydreams about castles and knights. Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. Dean
Macaulay is the master of simplifying complex topics. He's easy to follow, extremely well illustrated, and gripping -- which is a lot to be said for an historic architecture... Read morePublished 4 months ago by David Millson
Very detailed. My nephew loves castles. Can't wait for him to get this gift.Published 4 months ago by ashley turner
Loves this book!! Wonderful clues and insights into "why " things were built as they were.
By the way, I am a 75 yr. old woman....... Read more
The four books: Pyramid, Mill, City and Castle. I learned a lot about line drawing as a kid from these books. Read morePublished 5 months ago by YouTube's Real Inventor
I fell in love with this book illustrations when I was in grade school. I'm glad I found a copyPublished 6 months ago by infocyde