The black shiny door of 10 Downing Street is perhaps the best known entrance in Britain, possibly even in the world. Yet how many people know what really lurks on the other side of that famous exterior, or indeed, who built it?
In this exclusive new book, Dr Anthony Seldon tells us the history behind Number 10, from its construction in the seventeenth century through to the house as it stands today. He evaluates the contribution of each of the prime ministers and their families on the appearance and the workings of the house, and looks at the way it has been used for both professional and family purposes over the years.
The story follows a broadly chronological path. Chapters include:
The building since the seventeenth century
• A House in the Headlines
• Walpole to Balfour
• Balfour to Douglas-Home
• Wilson to Blair
• Below Stairs
• 4 Departures and an Arrivals
The book is aimed a a broad public and concentrates on the the personnalities of the premiers (and their families) and both interior and exterior architectural changes.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
10 Downing Street: The Illustrated HistoryReview:
The door of 10 Downing Street is perhaps the best known entrance in Britain, possibly even the world. But how many people really know what happens on the other side of that famous exterior or its history?
In 10 Downing Street: The Illustrated History, distinguished political historian, Anthony Seldon explores the architectural and human history behind Number 10, from its construction in the 17th century, through its rebuilding in the early 1960s, to the life of the house as we know it today. The book discusses the daily lives of each prime minister and his or her family, describes the changing appearance of the house, both inside and out, and looks at how it has been used for both state and family purposes over the years. For the first time, this beautifully illustrated, clearly written book takes us on a tour of the interior, from the White Drawing Room to the Pillared Drawing Room, from the State Dining Room to the famous Cabinet Room, where many of the decisions that have shaped Britain and its place in the world have been made.
Seldon expertly curates an impressive collection of superb archival photographs, from an 1885 photograph of Number 10 resembling nothing so much as a rundown row of tenement flats against a startlingly empty London sky to images of the bomb damage the property suffered during the Blitz restricted during the war for fear of damaging morale. These rarely seen archival photographs are complemented by Mark Fiennes' new, specially commissioned, exclusive photographs of the main interiors. 10 Downing Street highlights the many works of art--from "traditional" British artists such as Turner and Constable to more unexpected modern work by Rachel White read, as well as furniture and other collections that have been housed there, reflecting the choices of incumbent premiers and more than a little about their personalities and passions.
The juice of the text itself is in the rich personal look at those who have lived at this great address, from Walpole to Blair. It revisits many of the historic events that happened in the prime ministerial home and its surroundings such as Churchill's wartime speeches, Thatcher's dramatic resignation and Blair's triumphant arrival. It also reveals many new anecdotes and stories about its various inhabitants revealing sometimes surprising, occasionally poignant and frequently entertaining aspects of those we think we know. One such story, undoubtedly apocryphal, has Margaret Thatcher at dinner with her Cabinet. The waiter, doubtless aware of her formidable reputation, asked her for their order: "Beef", she replied. "And the vegetables, madam?" enquired the waiter. "Oh, they will have beef too."
As a vivid portrayal of an extraordinary residence, 10 Downing Street is an ideal choice for anyone interested in Britain's political and architectural history and definitely a bookshelf treasure: one to enjoy repeatedly and often. --Fiona Buckland
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Book Description HarperCollins Illustrated, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110004140737
Book Description HarperCollins Illustrated. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0004140737 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0000720