Description

The full title of the book, Lambeth Palace Illustrated By A Series of Views Representing its most Interesting Antiquities in Buildings, Portraits, Stained Glass, &c., gives a good idea of the contents, including as it does numerous plates of interiors and important items in the collections. Even the title-page (pictured) is opposed by a hand-coloured stipple engraving of a portrait once thought to depict Catherine Parr (though recent research by the National Portrait Gallery has revealed the subject to be Catherine of Aragon). The small vignette of the palace, partially obscured by the trees in the garden and with the tower of St. Mary-at-Lambeth rising beyond, includes houses and boat-sheds on the peripheries of the prospect, as well as several vessels on the water.

A plate showing the library of Lambeth Palace is shown after the title-page. This view of the interior of the library, still one of the finest ecclesiastical libraries in the world, shows the walls lined with books as well as globes and pictures, including a portrait in a gilt frame casually propped against the shelves. Two of the stained glass windows featuring a portrait and several armorials are illustrated in the following pages. The library was subsequently moved to the Great Hall, illustrated later in this volume, but in 1806, it occupied the four galleries situated over the cloisters of the Palace, with a distinct manuscript library situated on the floor above the west gallery.

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