There had, of course, been other fires, Four Hundred and fifty years before, the city had almost burned to the ground. Yet the signs from the heavens in 1666 were ominous: comets, pyramids of flame, monsters born in city slums. Then, in the early hours on 2 September, a small fire broke out on the ground floor of a baker's house in Pudding Lane. In five days that small fire would devastate the third largest city in the Western world.
Adrian Tinniswood's magnificent new account of the Great Fire of London explores the history of a cataclysm and its consequences. It pieces together the untold human story of the Fire and its aftermath - the panic, the search for scapegoats, and the rebirth of a city. Above all, it provides an unsurpassable recreation of what happened to schoolchildren and servants, courtiers and clergyman when the streets of London ran with fire.
The story of London's great fire is one of the set-pieces of English history. But the strength of Adrian Tinniswood's measured narrative lies in the fresh emphasis he places on its fallout
This book is more than just a gripping account of the great fire...with immense skill, Adrian Tinniswood uncovers the cross-currents of special interests that the disaster brought into play, many of which lend the story an almost contemporary feel
Admirably researched and highly evocative
Even Pepys is too near and involved an observer to convey the full magnitude of the catastrophe. For that we need an historian, and Adrian Tinniswood's new account of the Great Fire rises impressively to the challenge