Grandad finishes his book - 40 years on

PUBLISHED: 14:32 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 25 August 2010

A GRANDFATHER will travel from Scotland to sign copies of his new book which was more than 40 years in the making.

A GRANDFATHER will travel from Scotland to sign copies of his new book which was more than 40 years in the making.

John Priestley, 80, from Edinburgh, will be signing his book about Eltham Palace in the Great Hall of the English Heritage property in Court Yard on Sunday, November 30 between 11am and 4pm.

The retired army officer started researching the book in the 1960s at which he time he was stationed at the Tudor palace, as a research staff officer, between 1952 and 1968.

The father-of-three used the 100-year-old Kentish Times as one of his many research tools as well as his 1973 University of London thesis called The Manor Palace of Eltham 1066-1663.

Mr Priestley said: "Eltham is an unusual building because there is so much information revealing the many different aspects about the place."

The book details the many different events which took place in the palace and its grounds, including jousting, plays, hunting and the meetings of the Privy Council in the 1440s and 1555.

The author said: "In modern times all sorts of things took place in the Great Hall and there is much information on these. But there are more detailed aspects to these that people may not know."

In his research Mr Priestley found the text of a primitive play called the Mumming of Eltham, written by John Ludgate, which was performed for Henry VI. Another famous incident as the palace was when the Dutch theological writer Erasmus visited Henry VII at the palace with his good friend the fellow humanist author Sir Thomas More.

The book, entitled simply Eltham Palace, is available is in the gift shop at Eltham Palace, Waterstones across London and Bluewater and the Bookshop on the Heath, Blackheath or online, priced £18.99.

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