Lichfield, of all the towns and cities in the West Midlands, has the longest and most intriguing history. Its famous son, Dr. Samuel Johnson, called it 'a city of philosophers' and the extraordinary society of writers, scientists and thinkers who lived in the shadow of its great cathedral in the 18th century proved his point. By that time the city already had well over a thousand years of history under its belt, since St Chad came down from York in the 7th century and recognised Lichfield as a place of mystery and power, perfect for his new church.
In the Middle Ages, powerful bishops fortified the town and the close and created one of the earliest markets in the Midlands. Such was its importance that every English king included it in his itinerary. In the 1640s Lichfield was the focus for one of the most dramatic conflicts of the Civil War, when within four years the city came under siege three times.
In this important new book, Dr. Upton, who is as well known for his entertaining style of writing as for his erudition, has provided a comprehensive and compelling account of one of England's great cathedral cities from its early Saxon origins to its modern growth. A tale of two cities - the ecclesiastical centre of prime importance and the market town struggling to emerge from the shade of the three famous spires - it takes in a holy well, a royal prisoner, a notorious asylum and Dr. Darwin's amorous cat with many amusing stories of former residents and notable incidents. It is the book that Lichfield has been waiting for!