The Chelsea Pensioners, or In-Pensioners as they are officially known, are held in great affection throughout the world. However, few people are aware that the Royal Hospital is not only one of the architectural and historical wonders of London - it is one of Sir Christopher's Wren's masterpieces, but also features work by Sir John Soane and Robert Adams. The RHC also contains complete hospital facilities, caring for the daily needs of the In-Pensioners. Originally commissioned over three hundred years ago by King Charles II as a home for the army's veterans, this beautifully illustrated 192 page book, which contains newly researched archive material and specially commissioned photographs, describes its purpose, its achievements and how it has developed over the years. As well as tracing the history and wonderful architecture of the Hospital, the book's widely respected author and TV presenter, Dan Cruickshank, also captures the fascinating stories of the Chelsea Pensioners themselves - their personal memories and how they live today.
Royal Hospital Chelsea - The Place and the People includes a foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales, Patron of the Royal Hospital Appeal, and will be officially launched at a reception at the RHC on 11th March 2004. The bulk of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the Royal Hospital.
Dan Cruickshank is a senior academic and widely published author in the fields of architecture and history. He is also well known for his work as a writer and presenter for the BBC, on such programmes as One Foot in the Past, The House Detectives and The Best of British Buildings. Most recently he presented the much-acclaimed Dan Cruickshank Under Fire, which looked at the fate of culture in war zones and featured Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, and The Rebuilding of New York's Ground Zero.