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Castles: England + Scotland + Ireland + Wales Hardcover – October 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: David & Charles (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715322125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715322123
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Plantagenet Somerset Fry worked in journalism and public relations, and he was the

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful well-written book about Castles.
Janice K. Terrell
Pictures and descriptions are great and add that to the history provided in places and it's a good book that we've added to our home library.
Patrick White
Firstly what a wonderful name for an author of such a book, secondly what a wonderful book he has written.
J. Chippindale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Williams on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I just returned from an amazing trip through England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so this book seemed like the perfect Christmas gift for him. The book has beautiful photographs of some of the best known castles, however I was a little disappointed that the information on each castle was minimal. I was hoping for a little more background history on each one. I was also disappointed that our favorite, Ross Castle in Killarney Ireland was not included. Overall, it will make a nice keepsake to remember a trip of a lifetime, and I'm sure will have a place of honor on our coffee table for some time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Chippindale on November 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Firstly what a wonderful name for an author of such a book, secondly what a wonderful book he has written. The British Isles is littered with castles of varying sizes and in various states of repair, or disrepair as the case may be. This book attempts to give you a guided tour of some of the best and there are far more than you think that are complete or almost complete.

Many of the most famous castles in our history have crumbled to little more than a pile of stones and we can only romanticise about how they looked, who built them and lived there and the events that occurred during their long history

But on the reverse of the coin we have castles that are still inhabited even today and one of the oldest, the tower of London is still in an excellent state of repair. Windsor is inhabited by the Queen and Warwick Castle and Leeds Castle look almost as good as the day they were built.

In Scotland, Edinburgh and Stirling have stood the rigours of time and Caernarfon Castle in Wales is a legacy of Edward I, being built on the site of what was a Roman fortress and then a Norman motte and bailey. Another Welsh castle in the beautiful town of Conway has not stood the test of time so well, but the superstructure is more or less still there. There is something magical about a castle when you are inside it. Perhaps it is the presence of long dead residents, or the mighty deeds and events that happened within those enormous walls. Whatever it is this book helps to bring to life our history with a profusion of photographs and information galore. Almost everyone likes a Castle and this book takes you on a enchanting tour from ruins through to the splendour of a fully preserved structure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really wanted a nice comprehensive book about this subject. This is a wonderful product but the only thing I would suggest to make this a 5 star book would be more intensive pictures. There are a lot (multitudes in fact) of places, castles, ruins that are simply listed with no pictures or in-depth facts to accompany the listings. That was somewhat disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leof on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book contents lots of articles which give similar, often dry, alike and short information about numerous castles, not even trying to show even a tiny picture of it. The author, he says, tried not to mention the castles with not too much of history but more than a half of the articles (which sometimes are comically short and the underlined name of the castle makes a half of the whole article's spot of page) ends like nothing remains now. Instead of mentioning such castles or writing such alike descriptions I would like to see more pictures of the castles. This book has not enough of pictures and it disappointed the worst when I got and opened it. I think the book would be better if it would describe fully not so many castles. The quantity of the articles leaves them too low quality. There are several articles though with comparatively wide descriptions of the castles and a single photograph of it. A dry, disappointing and miserly for good pictures book.
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Format: Hardcover
Covering the castles of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, this book provides an easy introduction to these mysterious buildings, the reasons they were built and the part they played in British and Irish history. As defined in this book, castles first appeared in Europe more than 200 years before the Norman conquest of England. William the Conqueror started the process of English castle building, one of the first being what is now known as the Tower of London.

Within the British Isles, all castles ever built (with a very few exceptions) are given at least a brief description but some are given much more lavish treatment, perhaps including a picture. Double-page spreads feature Corfe, St Michael's Mount, Arundel, Bodiam, the Tower of London, Windsor, Colchester, Dover, Leeds, Ludlow, Warwick, Alnwick (all in England), Edinburgh and Stirling (both in Scotland), Beaumaris and Caernarfon (both in Wales), Blarney, Carrickfergus and Trim (all in Ireland). The author and / or the editors clearly think these are the most interesting or the most important, but I'm not sure in all cases. Among Welsh castles, is Beaumaris really more worthy of a double-page spread than Harlech, Conway or Pembroke? Harlech gets about half a page while Conway and Pembroke each get three-quarters of a page so their importance is recognized to some extent.

The book includes special features on early fortifications (before castles had been invented), building castles, later castles, changing roles, the end of the castle, royal castles, sieges, weapons, the English civil war, entertainment and sport within castles, life in castles, food and drink in castles and a section about kings, barons and society.
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