Since 1914, the Round Tower at Windsor Castle has been home to the Royal Archives, an extraordinary collection of documents dating back to the thirteenth century. To commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the founding of a permanent home for the Royal Archives in the Tower, highlights from this fascinating and historically significant collection are being published here for the first time.
The treasures photographed and described for this lavish volume range from state records to letters, diaries, and domestic jottings. Among them are the account books of Elizabeth I, the deeds to Sandringham House, a list of Jacobite prisoners taken at the Battle of Culloden in 1745, and a terrifyingly vivid firsthand description of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. But the book also includes a great many personal documents, including excerpts from the diary of Queen Victoria, as well as letters from Bonnie Prince Charlie; from Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and his chief political rival, William Ewart Gladstone; and from President Lincoln, who commiserates with Queen Victoria in 1861 on the death of Prince Albert.