cover image The Tower of London

The Tower of London

Leonard Everett Fisher. MacMillan Publishing Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-735370-9

Many a rebel head has rolled since the Tower of London was built in the 11th century. This liberally illustrated book highlights the little-known aspects as well as the legendary tales about the dark tower, symbol of power for the royal line. Thirteen episodic sketches move in easy style, without excess detail: the story of Anne Boleyn; how a bishop once escaped prison by getting the guards drunk and climbing down a rope; how Henry III turned the tower into a zoo; how Wat Tyler stormed the tower with a group of overtaxed farmers; and how Richard II lost the throne. Today the Tower is a landmark museum, where axes and racks still stand, and ravens are still tended there, for legends say that when the last one leaves the Tower, the nation will fall. Fisher's moody black-and-white artfull of shadowy gray toneswell suit the book's somber subject. For dramatic nonfiction, this book sets a high standard in the genre. Ages 6-10. (September)