A History of London
The history of London may indeed comprise a history of printing, the theater, newspapers, museums, pleasure gardens, music hall, international finance, parliamentary government, and the novel, but for Stephen Inwood it is primarily a history of the people whose tastes, talents, trades, and pocketbooks have created this grand, monstrous metropolis - and sometimes threatened to destroy it. For Inwood, the city's history is forged no less by the common Londoners who tore down monasteries, saw their city burn to the ground, fled the plague, poisoned their own water supply, toiled in sweatshops, survived the Blitz, and moved into Council flats than it is by Alfred the Great or William the Conqueror, Henry Bolingbroke or Oliver Cromwell, Geoffrey Chaucer or Anthony Trollope, William Pitt or Margaret Thatcher.
Drawing on a multitude of sources and with an abundance of unfamiliar anecdotes, Inwood vividly explores the history of a city defined as much by the mob as the monarch, the laborer as the lord, and on every colorful page shows why, as Samuel Johnson put it, "When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - trixtah - LibraryThing
This is the best history I've read of London so far. It took me a little while to get accustomed to the thematic way the book has been laid out, as opposed to a strictly linear timeline - but it is the most vivid and gripping biography of a city I've read yet. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - herschelian - LibraryThing
Two thousand years of history distilled into 1000 pages. This incredibly detailed tome is not one I would sit down and read cover to cover, but I delve into it a bit at a time depending on what I want ... Read full review