One of the most mysterious buildings in the Western hemisphere, King Henri Christophe’s lavish neoclassical palace in the rain forest, enthrones the small Haitian town of Milot. Begun less than a decade after the Haitian Revolution for independence (1804) by the first black African king in the Americas, this massive monument was built to showcase Haiti’s power and self-confidence.
Despite its status as UNESCO World Heritage and a tourist attraction, the unusual building has never before been the subject of a study. On the basis of unpublished archival sources and exact photographic documentation, this book is the first to publish detailed information about the genesis this extraordinary architecture and the story of its builder.
"This short book is as fascinating as it is original. [...] Gauvin Alexander Bailey has served his subject wonderfully well. By dint of painstaking research, his meticulous scholarship has stripped away the many layers of myth, exaggeration and downright falsehood that accreted around King Henry’s life and times. [...] A very good impression of what remains of the academy of Sans-Souci, and also of the Citadelle and other contemporary buildings, can be gained from the 30 high-quality and well-chosen illustrations that adorn this beautifully produced book." Tim Blanning in: The Art Newspaper 10.08.2018https://www.theartnewspaper.com/review/frederick-the-great-and-the-royals-bonbons
"Thanks to the depth and detail of Bailey’s historical, cultural and architectural analyses and the copious illustrations, the palace has now found its place in scholarship and been set into the context of its time and the people involved, from royalty to architectural engineers and bricklayers. Bailey reveals Sans-Souci to be a treasure worthy of its designation in 1982 as a World Heritage Site." Legrace Benson in: The Burlington Magazine 161 (2019), 615