The Flower of All Cities
The History of London from Earliest Times to the Great Fire
- Robert Wynn Jones
15th August 2022
The history of London up to 1666 is a story of Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts. Of a city that grew from ancient origins to become ‘the flower of all cities’, until the centuries of building and the lives within it were obliterated by the Great Fire.
It features many of the famous figures in British history: Queen Boudicca, King Alfred, Thomas Becket, Wat Tyler, Dick Whittington, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, and Guy Fawkes. And Geoffrey Chaucer, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Donne, Inigo Jones, Thomas Middleton, John Milton, Christopher Wren, Aphra Behn and Samuel Pepys.
It is a tale of ‘great matter’ and ‘great reckoning’, where the nation was shaped, fortunes made and squandered, lives transformed, advanced and lost.
Through the story of early London we can trace a busy, beautiful, dangerous city lost forever, but brought back to life here through skilful analysis of the archaeological, pictorial and written records.