If you have any serious interest in London, read this book. It covers the whole canvas from Roman times to the present day and despite the 1100 odd pages, it is immensely readable. Although I have not lived in London for 20 years, I was born and bred there and maybe this helps ones appreciation, but I found it fascinating. As a Freeman of the City, I was particularly interested in the development of the City through the ages, but the modern era is interesting too. Nothing changes - greed, politics, poverty and snobbery are in every age.
Why 4 crowns not 5? My only criticism is that some more maps to illustrate the text would have been helpful. There are excellent historic maps at the end of the book, but I longed for some 'local' ones to illustrate the discussions in the chapters. Maybe in the next edition??