A Short History of London: The Creation of a World Capital (Paperback)
  • A Short History of London: The Creation of a World Capital (Paperback)
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A Short History of London: The Creation of a World Capital (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 432 Pages
Published: 16/07/2020
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Waterstones Says

Tracing a path through the capital from prehistory to the London Olympics, Jenkins breezy and accessible volume tells an enthralling story of expansion, progress and hubris played out either side of the River Thames. 

LONDON: a settlement founded by the Romans, occupied by the Saxons, conquered by the Danes and ruled by the Normans. This changeful place became a medieval maze of alleys and courtyards, later to be chequered with grand estates of Georgian splendour. It swelled with industry and became the centre of the largest empire in history. And having risen from the rubble of the Blitz, it is now one of the greatest cities in the world.

From the prehistoric occupants of the Thames Valley to the preoccupied commuters of today, Simon Jenkins brings together the key events, individuals and trends in London's history to create a matchless portrait of the capital. He masterfully explains the battles that determined how London was conceived and built - and especially the perennial conflict between money and power.

Based in part on his experiences of and involvement in the events that shaped the post-war city, and with his trademark colour and authority, Jenkins shows above all how London has taken shape over more than two thousand years. Fascinating for locals and visitors alike, this is narrative history at its finest, from the most ardent protector of our heritage.

'A handsome book ... full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought' Michael Wood, New Statesman on A Short History of England

'Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book for Christmas...I can imagine no better companion on a voyage across England' Max Hastings, Daily Telegraph on England's Thousand Best Houses

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241985359
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 38 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Fascinating and timely. Truly the story of the fabric we see before us. Required reading for every developer, planner or councillor who holds London in trust today - Griff Rhys Jones

Jenkins's handling of the preceding two millennia is clear and informative . . . there are also nuggets and insights . . . accessible, clear and readable - Rowan Moore, The Observer

Simon Jenkins has written a vivid and deeply well-informed account of London's history which is throughout much enlivened by his knowledge of London's planning, buildings and topography, his admiration for terrace housing and London squares, his interest in how London has been depicted and described, and his detestation of so much insensitive modern development

Extremely informative and witty

'He [Jenkins] brings much knowledge and experience to his defence of those streets, in this study of the battle for "London's appearance - why it looks as it does today, more variegated and visually anarchic than any comparable city" - Christopher Howse, The Telegraph

A handsome book ... full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought - Michael Wood, New Statesman on A Short History of England

Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book for Christmas...I can imagine no better companion on a voyage across England - Max Hastings, Daily Telegraph on England’s Thousand Best Houses

A short, invigorating gallop over two and a half thousand years - Scotsman on A Short History of Europe

Simon Jenkins has written a remarkably brisk, vivid and deeply well-informed account of London's history which is throughout much enlivened by his knowledge of London's planning, buildings and topography, his admiration for terrace housing and London squares, his interest in how London has been depicted and described, and his detestation of so much insensitive modern development

'I decided I'd reduce the height of a pile of recommended books by actually reading some of them. Thus I sampled the delights of Simon Jenkins's A Short History of London - Sue MacGregor, broadcaster

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“Short but perfectly to the point”

London is such a fascinating city. I love the old and new melded together and continuously ask myself why and how.

Jenkins goes someway to satisfy my curiosity by building up in vivid layers from 43AD to the present... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 44

“Very readable and interesting”

I'm finding the book very easy to read, but packed with fascinating and interesting information. I particularly love how much you can relate the information to how London looks now. You can see what he's... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 15

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