This account of the Great Fire of London explores its history and consequences, from the first small blaze to the long work of rebuilding. It also describes the human story of the fire and its aftermath - the panic and terror, the hunt for scapegoats and the rebirth of a city.
There had been other fires, of course. Four hundred and fifty years before, the city had almost burned to the ground. The citizens still called it the Great Fire. But that autumn they were more fearful of destruction borne by water. Across the sea, the Dutch and French threatened a country barely recovered from civil war and still uncertain of its new King. Yet the signs from the heavens were ominous: comets, pyramids of flame, monsters born in city slums. Then, in the early hours of 2 September 1666, a small fire broke out on the ground floor of a baker's house in Pudding Lane. In five days that small fire would devastate the third largest city in the Western world: London By Permission of Heaven, Adrian Tinniswood's magnificent new account of the Great Fire of London, explores the history of a cataclysm and its consequences, from that first small blaze to the decades-long work of rebuilding. The statistics of the disaster are terrible: 436 acres of closely packed streets burned; 13,200 houses destroyed; -10 million lost at a time when -10 million represented the City's annual income for 800 years. But the Great Fire wasn't simply a tragedy of economics or architecture. It wrecke
Adrian Tinniswood is the author of fourteen books of social and architectural history. A Senior Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham and a Visiting Fellow in Heritage and History at Bath Spa University, he has worked for and with the National Trust at local, regional and national level for more than thirty years. In 2013 he was awarded an OBE for services to heritage.
"Marvellously readable" Daily Mail "The story of London's great fire is one of the set-pieces of English history. But the strength of Adrian Tinniswood's measured narrative lies in the fresh emphasis he places on its fallout" -- Andrew Holgate Sunday Times "This book is more than just a gripping account of the great fire...with immense skill, Adrian Tinniswood uncovers the cross-currents of special interests that the disaster brought into play, many of which lend the story an almost contemporary feel" -- Christopher Hudson Daily Mail "Admirably researched and highly evocative" -- Nicholas Seddon Spectator "Even Pepys is too near and involved an observer to convey the full magnitude of the catastrophe. For that we need an historian, and Adrian Tinniswood's new account of the Great Fire rises impressively to the challenge" -- John Adamson Sunday Telegraph
A magnificently told, thrilling account of one of the most dramatic events in British history.
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