The American presidential election season is in full swing right now, with rival candidates denouncing each other (and supporters!) with irrational exuberance, to quote a phrase. Yet at the end of the day, everyone goes home safely and lives for another day of yelling at the TV.
Stakes were higher centuries ago. The development of constitutional government owes a great deal to the darker side of the Tower of London, and the acts of institutional violence carried out there, against nobility and commoner alike. This video by Historic Royal Palaces walks the viewer through the Tower’s colorful history and its emergence as one of London’s best known landmarks. I don’t know if it was the damp of the Thames, the hardness of the stones, or the chill of the history, but my (then young) bones ached when touring the Tower. But the imagination is transfixed by the spell of its memorable ghosts.