Readership: All those interested in the social and cultural history of ninteenth century Britain and the history of London
Caroline Shenton, Clerk of the Records, Parliamentary Archives
Caroline Shenton is Clerk of the Records at the Parliamentary Archives in London. She was previously a senior archivist at the National Archives and has worked in and around collections relating to the old Palace of Westminster for over twenty years. Educated at the University of St Andrews, Worcester College Oxford and University College London, she is a Fellow of both the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society.
This is her first book.
"Splendid." - The Victorian
"A glorious micro-history ... Shenton has a terrific eye for fine detail." - Dan Jones, Daily Telegraph
"The best and most exciting and dramatic account of the burning building since Turner's paintings." - Robert Tanitch, Mature Times
"This is a fascinating read and I commend it to colleagues in both Houses." - Lord Cormack, House Magazine
"One of the many achievements of Shenton's scholarly but gripping account is to revive, in all its intricacy and richness, the ghost of one of London's greatest lost treasures." - Rosemary Hill, The Guardian
"London's most legendary 19th century conflagration
is vividly described in this book by Caroline Shenton ... This excellent social history is Shenton's first book. One hopes there will be many more, not least one about today's Houses of Parliament." - Hannah Stephenson, Liverpool Post
"Anyone with even a passing interest in politics or London history will be engrossed by this thoroughly researched, well-written and admirably unsensationalised book." - David Clack, Time Out Magazine
"Hour by hour she [Caroline Shenton] takes us through the fantastic build-up of the fire. You could have been there." - Daily Mail
"The Day Parliament Burned Down is both a gripping account of that fateful night and a wide-ranging search for its ramifications across British society.
Well written and extensively illustrated, this is a book that deserves attention." - BBC History Magazine
"[Shenton's] book is deeply researched ... yet surprisingly gripping." - Andrew Holgate, The Sunday Times
"Caroline Shenton's account of its history makes for a truly remarkable read." - Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express
"Caroline Shenton, Clerk of the Records in the parliamentary archives, shows in her excellent book, even the wood shoved into the furnaces was the product of the stranglehold of inefficient tradition." - Jonathan Sale, The Independent
"No one has written about the burning of Parliament before , and this vivid, superbly researched book is a definitive account of
one of the greatest cockups in English history." - Jane Ridley, Spectator
"The author, Clerk of the Records at Westminster, could not have been bettered as our guide to this exciting event." - Peter Lewis, Daily Mail
"The detail Shenton provides is absolutely fascinating, such as the Dean of Westminster, who refused to move the Domesday Book to safety as he had not received the Prime Minister's permission. Each chapter is headed with the successive hour of the fire, creating a wonderfully detailed and gripping read." - The Telegraph
"She has just the voice to narrate this tale, gripping the reader by the scruff as she describes the titanic struggle to save Westminster Hall and its stupendous hammerbeam roof
She has written a wonderful first book." - Lucy Inglis, The Georgian
"The events of October 1834 are told in an authoritative and entertaining way by our Parliamentary Archivist Caroline Shenton in The Day Parliament Burned Down." - Keith Simpson, The House Magazine
1: Thursday 16 October 1834, 6am: Mr Hume's Motion for a New House
2: Thursday 16 October 1834, 7am: Novelty, Novelty, Novelty
3: Thursday 16 October 1834, 9am: Worn-out, worm-eaten, rotten old bits of wood
4: Thursday 16 October 1834, 3pm: Manifest Indications of Danger
5: Thursday 16 October 1834, 6pm: One of the Greatest Instances of Stupidity on Record
6: Thursday 16 October 1834, 7pm: The Brilliancy of Noonday
7: Thursday 16 October 1834, 8pm: Immense and Appalling Splendour
8: Thursday 16 October 1834, 9pm: Damn the House of Commons!
9: Thursday, 16 October 1834, 10pm: Save, Oh Save, the Hall!
10: Thursday 16 October 1834, 11pm: Milton's Pandemonium
11: Friday 17 October 1834, Midnight: A National Calamity
12: Friday 17 October 1834, 1am: Emptying the Thames
13: Friday 17 October 1834, 3.30am: Thank God we seem all safe
14: Friday 17 October 1834, 4am: Guy Faux has rose again
15: Friday 17 October 1834, 6am: Past Peril
Dickens in Parliament Caroline Shenton's website