Author(s): Robert Wynn Jones
The history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666 is a story of settlement, struggle, conquest, oppression, rebellion, war, plague and purifying fire. It is a story of Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts. Of a city that grew from ancient origins to become 'the flower of all cities', until the centuries of buidling and the lives within it were obliterated by the Great Fire. This unique history of old London town encompassses the lives of kings and queens, commoners and knights, monks and merchant-adventurers; of the anointed and ill-fated, the remembered and the forgotten. It features the roles of many of the famous figures in British history: Queen Boudicca, King Alfred, Wat Tyler, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, and Guy Fawkes. And of Geoffrey Chaucer, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Inigo Jones, Thomas Middleton, John Milton, Christopher Wren, and Samuel Pepys. It is a tale of 'great matter' and 'great reckoning', where the nation was shaped, fortunes made and squandered, life advanced and lost. Through the story of early London we can trace a busy, beautiful city lost forever, but brought back to life here through the skilful use of the archaeological and written records.