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London: A History [Hardcover]

Francis Sheppard

Price: 87.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Nov 1998
London has for most of 2,000 years been the hub of the political, economic, and cultural life of Britain. No other world city has held such a dominant national position for so long. This new study, by the doyen of London historians, describes London's diverse past, from its origins as a Roman settlement at the first bridging of the Thames to the world-class metropolis it is today. It provides a vivid account of a city which was the `deere sweete' place which Chaucer loved more than any other city on earth, which was for Dickens his `magic lantern', and to Keats `a great sea', howling for more wrecks. It is also a story of much contrast and remarkable resilience; through great fires and pestilence, civil war, and the Blitz, London has rebuilt and reinvented itself for each generation.

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Review

At £25, Francis Sheppard's history of Lodon must be the bargian of the millennium. Handsomely produced and copiously illustrated, it covers the entire known period of London's history from the Londinium of Roan times to the Greater South East of today. (Patricia L. Garside, Urban History, 03/2000)

Sheppard ... provides a broad and very readable history ... He is especially strong on Londons physical development ... such comprehensive histories of Britains leading city are relatively rare and ... to be welcomed, as a valuable and enlightening contribution. (Stephen Porter, London Journal 25, 1, 2000.)

based on extensive research and ... littered with accurate endnotes./ ... should ... be on the shelf of any lover of London./ Simon Thurley, Director of Museum of London, THES, 05/03/99.

There is a never-neglected theme to this book of comparing and contrasting the condition and growth of London to that of foreign cities. (Ruth Rendell, Sunday Times)

Sheppard is a rather grand historian, but fascinating. (Illtyd Harrington, Camden New Journal)

This is a solid, well researched and well written survey of London's history and influence./ Contemporary Review, 04/99

... episodes which Sheppard handles with the evenness, lucidity and pace that are the hallmarks of a lifetime's writing about the capital, and destine 'London: A History' to be the exemplary politico-economic narrative of its subject for decades to come./ Andrew Saint, LRB, 04/02/99

a bold book. Peter Ackroyd/The Times/3/12/98

About the Author

General editor of the multi-volume Survey of London 1954-1982

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In the parish church of St Mary at Taunton in Somerset there stands a full-length effigy of Robert Gray, a native of that town and a Citizen and Merchant Taylor of London, where he died in 1638, possessed of a considerable fortune. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Location is everything 2 July 2001
By "michaeleve" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
How else to explain how the ancient Roman market village of Londinium, no more than 1 square mile in size at its maximum, eventually came to be one of the major finance, insurance, publishing, and cultural centers in the world. LONDON: A HISTORY is just that, tracing the development of the city from the Romans through the millennia to today. The author even offers his views as to what the future holds for London. From someone who says that of all the cities founded by the Romans, "only Paris, Constantinople (Istanbul) and Rome can stand comparison with London", you can therefore expect that he sees a fairly bright future.
Wheras the history of London can hardly be matched by other cities, even in modern times the city stands up favorably. In making modern comparisons with US cities such as Washington DC and New York, the author points out, that nothwithstanding the lack of a skyscraper skyline like the Big Apple, and the monuments of the nations capital, London still has economic and cultural clout to match these cities.
This book is written by a Londoner and one who obviously loves his city and for that we should be glad because it makes for some very interesting insights. The author is also an academic and for that we suffer a bit as his writing style is very dry. The book however is so full of what is worth knowing about all aspects of London life and culture, that it's certainly worth plowing through.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat dry. 15 Feb 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Interesting in a dry and scholarly way. The author assumes you already know the history of England so he doesn't give much explanation about who's on the throne, or about events taking place. He only explains how they affected life in London. Which is all right; just be prepared. I read this book in conjunction with Rutherfurd's London, and the two together gave me a good picture of the city.
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