I’m a HUGE fan of the Shire Library books. They’re compact guides to various British historical topics that are always well written and illustrated. So, it was with great excitement that I bought Parliament and Its Buildings by Richard Tames.
I’m continually fascinated by British politics and I’m a huge admirer of the institution of Parliament. This is a great introduction to the building itself and the operations that take place inside.
The book is divided into 6 sections:
- The Mother of Parliaments – Which explores the role of parliament in Britain and in the wider world.
- The Evolution of Parliament – Explores the history and development of the institution of Parliament in Britain along with the building.
- The Palace of Westmintser – Which profiles the building itself.
- Parliament at Work – Which explains the day to day operations throughout the year of Parliament.
- Visit Parliament – What the public is allowed to visit.
- Further Reading and Websites – More info that you can explore.
It’s a short book – clocking in at just 64 pages. That makes this a quick read. This is by no means a comprehensive history of Parliament and its various jobs in British society. It’s more of an accessible overview meant to be a starting off point for further research.
My favorite part of this book is that it’s filled with beautiful pictures and illustrations – some of rooms in the Palace of Westminster that are not open to the public and you wouldn’t normally see. My favorite images was a two page summary illustration of the original floor plan for the new Palace of Westminster when it was built. Amazing!
I highly recommend this little book if you want to learn more about the British parliamentary system.