A History of London

Front Cover
Basic Books, May 22, 2000 - History - 1136 pages
Since its first-century beginnings as a Roman outpost on the banks of the Thames to its status in the twenty-first as a cosmopolitan world capital, London has belonged to outsiders. From Europe's major cultural centers and every English-speaking corner of the Commonwealth, in successive waves of migration they have come to London -- the merchants and traders, the artists and artisans, the refugees and dreamers and speculators and financiers -- and each in their turn has left a distinctive mark on the city's cultural map. For Stephen Inwood, London's history belongs primarily to these people whose tastes, talents, trades, and pocketbooks have continually reinvented the grand metropolis -- and sometimes threatened to destroy it. Drawing on a multitude of sources and an abundance of unfamiliar anecdotes, Inwood tirelessly explores the history of a city defined as much by the mob as the monarch, and on every page shows why, as Samuel Johnson said, "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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User Review  - Kirkus

An accurate and capably told history of London, thoroughly researched and presented in exhaustive detail. Inwood, a principal lecturer in history at England's Thames Valley University, begins his ... Read full review

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User 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

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About the author (2000)

Roy Sydney Porter was born December 31, 1946. He grew up in a south London working class home. He attended Wilson's Grammar School, Camberwell, and won an unheard of scholarship to Cambridge. His starred double first in history at Cambridge University (1968) led to a junior research fellowship at his college, Christ's, followed by a teaching post at Churchill College, Cambridge. His Ph.D. thesis, published as The Making Of Geology (1977), became the first of more than 100 books that he wrote or edited. Porter was a Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Churchill College, Cambridge from 1972 to 1979; Dean from 1977 to 1979; Assistant Lecturer in European History at Cambridge University from 1974 to 1977, Lecturer from 1977 to 1979. He joined the Wellcome Institute fot the History of Medicine in 1979 where he was a Senior Lecturer from 1979 to 1991, a Reader from 1991 to 1993, and finally a Professor in the Social History of Medicine from 1993 to 2001. Porter was Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994, and he was also made an honorary fellow by both the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Roy Porter died March 4, 2002, at the age of 55.

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