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Palace of the People


Price: £25.00


by Dr. Jan Piggott

This book is the first to trace the full history of the eventful rise and fall of what became known as 'The People's Palace', the Crystal Palace at Sydenham in South London. With its huge size and stark geometrical design it was one of the most remarkable structures ever built in Britain,and architecturally years ahead of its time, but it was also a fascinating and idealistic social laboratory of entertainment and information that foreshadowed much that we take for granted in today's theme parks,zoos and shopping malls. Developed from Sir Joseph Paxton's design for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, after its relocation to Sydenham the Crystal Palace was much enlarged, with three transepts instead of one, and used twice the amount of glass.

The Crystal Palace drew visitors, including the great of all nations, for over eighty years because of the amazing series of exhibitions and national ceremonials staged there.These ranged from the educational to patriotic spectaculars and other entertainments, e.g. waterworks, or a three-dimensional encyclopaedia of the natural world and of evolving civilisation,with life-size models of dinosaurs and 'geological illustrations'.

PLEASE NOTE: All the copies have been purchased from high-class antique book dealers and are therefore of good quality. Previously owned books are however subject to the usual problems - light foxing and / or lightly stained pages, and the page edges, etc may not be perfect. The pages however are always fully secure. The best available copy of the book will be sent in all cases.

Jan Piggott, FSA, PhD, is Keeper of Archives at Dulwich College, where he taught for thirty years, finally as head of English.

121 pages paperback 160 illustrations