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London: A Social and Cultural History, 1550-1750 Hardcover – 9 Jul 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (9 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521896525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521896528
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 587,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'[London is] a serious and remarkably successful attempt to describe how the city reached the cusp of 'modernity', how it emerged from relative obscurity in the middle of the sixteenth century to become, about 200 years later, 'the greatest city in Europe', with a population whose distinctive traits are recognizable to this day.' Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

'A good deal of erudition lightly conveyed.' Prospect Magazine

'As an account of how and why London is London, this is the best book to come along in a generation.' British Heritage

'… intriguing …' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'How this place became a real world city is the underlying story at the heart of [this book] … England and London in 1550 were slightly peripheral places, and certainly in the shadow of some of the true great cities of Europe and beyond. By 1750, however, London had been transformed into a place of innovation, wealth, power and progress, and England was well on the path to becoming a nation that was to shape much of the history of the world over the next two centuries. The story is also deeply human and very colourful … I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book …' Nicholas Walton, New Books Network (

'A good read and makes me want to wander the streets of London even more.' Church Times

'In this attractive and engaging book, Robert Bucholz and Joe Ward set out to offer a history of early modern London - something we currently lack … this is a London that will serve students well, and should attract a wider readership.' Patrick Wallis, The London Journal

'A fantastic resource for students and scholars of London's diverse and changing communities during the early modern period. Handsomely illustrated with maps, engravings, etchings, paintings and news-sheet covers, the book takes a holistic approach to its subject.' Adam Hansen, The Literary London Journal

'… Robert Bucholz and Joseph Ward have achieved their aim of writing an accessible work which will be of particular value to newcomers to metropolitan history.' P. Gauci, The English Historical Review

'… an impressive resource: Bucholz and Ward synthesize the political and cultural changes they examine with an arsenal of statistics, references, and official and literary quotes. The authors have compiled a comprehensive academic study, a vital resource for scholars of all stages of research in early modern British (and European) geography, architecture and the arts, cultural trends, and governmental and social hierarchy.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Book Description

This book is a history of London from 1550 to 1750, the period of its rise to world-wide prominence. Incorporating recent work in urban history, accounts by contemporary Londoners and tourists, and fictional works featuring the city, it examines how London came to dominate the economic, political, social and cultural life of the British Isles.

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Format: Hardcover
I am a Londoner. Apart from time away at University, I have lived in this great city all my life, dating back to soon after the Second World War.I know London from my lived experience and from at least the oral history of the 20th Century. But when I first saw a review of this book, I realised that I don't know how London came to be a great city, how it changed Britain and indeed how its social and cultural history shaped what it means to be a Londoner.
This elegant and well-illustrated book answers all these questions.
Focusing on the period from 1550 until 1750 it shows how what was already a largish settlement for the times grew rapidly and in the course of this growth challenged the natural order of things (the hierarchy from God through monarch and nobility to the deferential peasants at the bottom) to establish what we might call a pre-modern city in which people knew each other in multiple roles, had a healthy scepticism about authority and learned to live together in a tumultuous, diverse and dense urban environment. Today's London - its geography, its key buildings and institutions, its distinctive culture - are all already on the 'map' of London in 1750. The history, for example of what it was like to live on the margins of society and how the authorities dealt with this, is diligent but running through this detail there is an exciting story about how our modern lives were shaped.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8f361654) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f3651ec) out of 5 stars A Bridge to London 20 July 2012
By Christian Schlect - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Readers interested in old London will want to buy and read this fine work of historical synthesis. In fact, it is a volume that will be enjoyed by those who wish to understand--not only London--but also the very underpinnings of much of modern Western civilization.

London is an especially good city to read about for all those who simply enjoy the English language, since so many still-used words and phrases originate from this political, religious, commercial, and literary center.

Professors Bucholz and Ward are to be commended for briskly moving the pace of their book's narrative along, while avoiding academic jargon.

(I recommend all that have not read the works of James Boswell or Samuel Pepys to do so immediately.)
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x900e1b40) out of 5 stars As good as his work always is 6 Feb. 2013
By Taylor - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Prof Bucholz has command of his subject matter and can tell the story well. I bought this book because I have read others of his and have taken a Teaching Company course that he gave. I have refused to loan out that course because it is so satisfying.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x902569d8) out of 5 stars Splendid book 5 Feb. 2013
By C. Brand - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An absolutely magnificent history and guide to London. Worth reading for anyone interested in the history of England or the London of Pepys and Samuel Johnson
HASH(0x8f4e4e28) out of 5 stars ... very readable both as an academic source and a good read! 7 Aug. 2014
By Maureen Donlan - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting book and very readable both as an academic source and a good read!
HASH(0x8fb9de40) out of 5 stars Good History 21 Oct. 2014
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well written, obviously extensively researched history of London.
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