Cowdray: The History of a Great English House

Cowdray:  The History of a Great English House With Illustrations from Drawings in the British Museum, and from Sketches by the Late Anthony Salvin
by Julia Anne Elizabeth Roundell (Mrs. Charles Roundell )
Original Published by Bickers & Son, London, 1884
Re-publication by British Library Historical Print Collection
178 pages
 
When visiting Cowdray this summer, I was put in touch with the resident archivist to answer some questions my husband had posed on my behalf at the information desk.  The archivist recommended this book as the definitive source on Cowdray, more specifically to Queen Elizabeth I’s stay.

The book was written in clear chapters, mostly chronological for the house itself and the families that resided there. Many famous peoples were linked to the house but the author did not do it sensationally.  Mrs. Roundell was just stating the facts that Margaret Pole, Charles Brandon [his descendents], the Spencers, Holbein, Horace Walpole, and Guy Fawkes all were connected to Cowdray.

Extensive use of primary sources made this reliable and flavorful as many contemporaries’ had written letters in a less formal vein than typical 16th century writing.

The only reason this title did not receive five stars was because of the production issues.  Several pages (most were of the pictures) were so faded to be almost indistinguishable.

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