HISTORY

The City on the Thames: The Creation of a World Capital: A History of London

Pegasus. Sept. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9781643135526. $28.95. HIST
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Although there has been a human presence since prehistoric times, London dates its beginnings to 43 CE and Rome. At first, and for several centuries, the city by the Thames River grew slowly outward from its central core, enduring invasions, plague, fire, religious turmoil, and civil unrest. Today, it is a political and economic powerhouse. Native Londoner and Frormer London Times editor Jenkins (A Short History of England) brings a deep and abiding love, along with some despair, for his city to this appealing story of its unique and chaotic growth. He describes pivotal moments in the city’s history, including the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the impact of the Great War. He also doesn’t shy away from historical and contemporary accounts of racism and jingoism within the city and England itself. Readers will appreciate the selected illustrations and maps that accompany the text.
VERDICT In addition to providing an enjoyable urban history that accurately and affectionately captures the fabric and character of London history, this account also serves as an optimal guide for armchair travelers.

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