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on 2 January 2017
Honestly one of the most interesting, captivating, enjoyable books I've ever read. I feel like I've learned so much about London and having lived here for 15 years it really comes to life now. This is a long book! But I felt like I could have just kept reading it. Can't wait to read another of Rutherfords books now.
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on 2 February 2014
This was a magnificent saga of a book - I particularly enjoyed the early descriptions of of London life. I downloaded the book just before a weekend trip to London expecting to rip through the book and visit some of the places on my trip? However there is so much detail in each time period that it would be criminal to rush this - ultimately only read first 100 pages by the end of the weekend - now mu husband has promised me another trip to visit the sites Rutherford has so eloquently described. That must be a good result!!
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on 18 March 2017
This was totally engrossing with touches of genealogy and history as several families weave together through the centuries. Sad to finish it
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on 21 October 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed it, well mostly, some of it was a little hard to understand how an individual trait, for example, can consistently arise over centuries, but hey literary licence and all that.
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on 4 December 2016
The whirlwind tour through history is fascinating. Much that I thought I knew, I didn't. Little asides that grip you - the wedding cake; who knew. A little slow to get going, this book develops like a photo drenched the photographic liquid of history. Well worth the read.
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on 1 August 2017
An excellent and interesting story of London through the ages, with a few twists in the tale. Very good for understanding history too.
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on 17 January 2013
I first read this book years ago but lose it in a house move so I was very pleased to find it again! Not new but in very good condition as advertised.....excellent price - 1p + postage! And well packed and quick delivery.
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on 16 August 2017
Thank you so much, brilliant service
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on 12 March 2017
I had read the author's "Sarum" some years ago, and enjoyed it so thought, just after a visit to the Museum of London, that I would try this. Generally I enjoyed it and certainly, despite its length, it held my interest. Rutherford spins a good yarn. He's a storyteller, and this book is full of good stories.

I did however find two things frustrating. The first was caused by the format of the book. The story begins about 220 bc, and advances to 1997 by numerous intermediate stops at different dates. There may be twenty five or more of these "chapters", each one describing the state and development of the city, and the lives of a number of families living in it at the time. This works well, up to a point. However, it takes some time to introduce characters and place them in their geographic, historic and social contexts. I found that I was just getting to know them and become interested in their stories when...... bang..... I was catapulted forward fifty or more years to the next chapter when most of them had disappeared and a new cast was on stage.

The second feature was that several families - Doggets, Bulls, Merediths, Pennys, Barnikels, Silversleeves - appear at various points in the history, and their descendants keep cropping up later, intermarrying, cheating each other in business deals, fighting for influence and money. By the 1500's I was becoming confused about the lineage and who had done what to whom back in Anglo-Saxon times; in the 1750's I had lost the plot completely; by World War One I had surrendered. I probably needed to pay more attention. Other readers may have more retentive memories. Some may need to keep notes.

All in all, a literary classic it ain't, but it is a good story and some of the history may rub off on you.
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on 14 September 2016
I lived in London for 45 years and I like a bit of historical fiction so I thought this would be right up my alley. But although I found the historical detail interesting, the writing is so bad it made my teeth hurt. All the women have 'small, rounded breasts' and every character wanders round 'murmuring' the plot to themselves 'with a wry smile'. This got so irritating that I threw the towel in about a quarter of the way through. If it had been less than 500 pages I probably would've ploughed on but it's a very long read so, as Peter Jones would say: 'For that reason, I'm out.'
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