Nigel Jones

A phoenix from the ashes: 17th-century London reborn

Margarette Lincoln describes how, as a result of the Great Fire, a stinking, plague-ridden wen became the greatest city in the world

The Great Fire of London in 1666. Credit: Getty Images

Tragically, the current pandemic lends this sparkling study of London in its most decisive century a grim topicality — for the city, during the most explosively expansive phase in its growth, also experienced the arrival of two of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse — war and pestilence — riding in to wreak havoc on an unprecedented scale.

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