Castle, royal palace, prison, torture chamber, execution site, zoo, mint, treasure house, armoury, record office, observatory and the most visited tourist attraction in the country, the Tower of London has been all these things and more. No building in Britain has been more intimately involved in our island's story than this mighty, brooding stronghold in the very heart of the capital, a place which has stood at the epicentre of dramatic, bloody and frequently cruel events for almost a thousand years. Now historian Nigel Jones sets this dramatic story firmly in the context of national - and international - events. In a monumental history drawn from primary sources he pictures the Tower in its many changing moods and a bewildering array of functions. Here, for the first time, is a thematic portrayal of the Tower of London as more than an ancient structure. The fortress is a living symbol of the nation itself in all its kaleidoscopic colour and rich diversity. Incorporating a dazzling panoply of political and social detail, "Tower" puts one of Britain's most important buildings firmly at the heart of our national story.