Saturday, 27 February 2021

A popular approach in historical biography is writing about a city as an organism and a flucrum for events. English history readers would already be familiar with Christopher Hibbert’s books on Rome (1985), Venice (1988) and Florence (1993) and of course London (1969). There are many other serious books on significant cities such as New York and Paris, and even a recent Yale book on a river - The Volga: a history by Janet M. Hartley (2021). Yale has added to this a new biography of London by Margarette Lincoln who limits the narrative to one century but expands upon the events within it. The publisher describes this new book as "The first comprehensive history of seventeenth-century London, told through the lives of those who experienced it. The Gunpowder Plot, the Civil Wars, Charles I’s execution, the Plague, the Great Fire, the Restoration, and then the Glorious Revolution: the seventeenth century was one of the most momentous times in the history of Britain, and Londoners took center stage.” The book was released by Yale this month. ISBN 9780300248784