The great fire of london

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

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. The 17th-century city may have narrowly escaped conquest and famine, but another Apocalyptic outrider — fire — also visited in 1666, leaving medieval London, with its filthy warren of narrow, timbered streets, in ashes. The upside, as Margarette Lincoln demonstrates, was that the cleansing inferno cleared the ground for London to become,