A brief picture-book history of the famous fortress, highlighting well-known incidents (of the ""cultural literacy"" sort) from 1078 to 1666. William the Conqueror ordered construction of the Tower near a Roman City wall; believed a perfect prison, it had its first important escapee, a fat Bishop who slid down a rope, in 1101. Henry III used it for a palace and zoo; Henry VII lived there; but, after Elizabeth I's coronation procession set forth from the site where the new queen's mother had been first married and then beheaded, no monarch lived there again. Several had been imprisoned in the Tower--Richard II, the little princes whom Richard III ""probably"" had murdered, Elizabeth herself. It was also a key site in the rebellions of Wat Tyler (1381) and Guy Fawkes (1605); Raleigh and his family were imprisoned there for years. Finally, Charles II inaugurated a new era after the fire of London (1666), when he opened the Tower's gates to the homeless. As just a taste of the history played within the illustrious complex of structures, this does convey the flavor of the myriad events there that were pivotal to the British Crown. Fisher's somber black-and-white oils are spread generously across double pages; their dramatic, well-balanced compositions complement and give immediacy to the text.