London: A Short History

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780753820278

Price: £9.99

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From Chaucer to Churchill, from Pepys to Dickens – the great figures from London’s past all make their appearance in A. N. Wilson’s affectionate and passionate account of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Dramatic events are here too – from the Great Fire to the Blitz, from the Peasants’ Revolt to Mosley’s fascist rallies. But he also looks at the physical transformations of the city: the elegant squares and pleasure gardens of the 18th century; the prodigious expansion of the 19th century and the Railway Age. He moves through the First World War and the ‘Big Bang’ of the 1980s to celebrate the cosmopolitan nature of modern London while deploring the follies of recent urban planning.

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Wilson talks with passion and authority about architecture's effect on the populace
Independent on Sunday
What shines through is Wilson's love for the city and his anguish at what he sees as the missed opportunity of the post-war period
Mail on Sunday
Tantalisingly excellent
Islington Tribune
A. N. Wilson's contribution is genuinely a short history, with the main text falling just shy of 150 pages, showing his customary lucidity and zest
Times Literary Supplement
His short history of the city ... offers a fresh and persuasive perspective ... With the same verve that we have come to expect from his newspaper columns, Wilson shows us how London has "entered a phase which is completely new" ... Wilson's history ... captures some of the city's energy, which crackles across its pages
Alastair Sooke, Catholic Herald
Engaging ... As each era superimposes itself on the ones before, he conjures up the vanished human history, hidden like the rivers flowing beneath, that is so much part of London's atmosphere
Irish Times
In his analysis of contemporary London, he elegantly skips from property prices to shopping ... This is a history of London even for people who don't readily venture into history or London
Glasgow Herald