Kensington Palace: Art, Architecture, and Society
Irish Georgian Society
Regular price $67.00
Yale University Press, 2018.
Kensington Palace is renowned for its architecture, splendid interiors, internationally important collections, and, of course, its royal residents. This lavish book thoroughly explores Kensington’s physical beauty and its history, presenting new material drawn from archives, newspapers, personal letters, images, and careful analysis of the building itself. Originally a fashionable Jacobean villa, Kensington was dramatically rebuilt in 1689 by Christopher Wren for the newly crowned monarchs, William III and Mary II. The palace became the favored London home of five sovereigns, yet also survived fires, partial collapse, bombings, and periods of neglect. Queen Victoria recognized the national significance of her birthplace and childhood home, turning the palace into her own memorial as well as a home for members of her extended family and their descendants. With over 450 illustrations, including specially commissioned reconstructions and historic plans, this volume explores the personal tastes and fashions of the British monarchy over the course of 300 years and provides insight into the 20th- and 21st-century royal family’s domestic life.
Olivia Fryman is curator at the Chitra Collection, London, and was an assistant curator at the Royal Collection Trust and Historic Royal Palaces.