Blenheim: 2biography of a Palace

Marian Fowler, Author Viking Books $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-670-82027-6
Canadian author Fowler animates history with her comprehensive account of a spectacular English landmark. Construction started on the Oxfordshire mansion in 1702, a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, victor at the Battle of Blenheim which inspired the name Blenheim Palace. Fowler records details of the vastness and richness of the ``family home'' as well as the daily lives of the occupants through the centuries. There are stories--some scandalous--of Blenheim's famous guests and hosts and the crippling costs of maintaining the proud edifice as the inheritors' fortunes declined with the British Empire. Only fees collected from public visitors allow the 11th duke to maintain the palace today. Each chapter in the portrait is engrossing, especially the moving re-creation of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral at Blenheim, where he was born. This lovely book calls to mind his WW II rallying cry: ``There'll always be an England.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-14-010617-6
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