'Roy Porter, a historian of formidable range, turns to urban history in this marvellously lucid, informative and passionate book... Porter's facts are always at the service of the narrative, which has a finely maintained momentum, balancing statistics with the words of historians, diarists and novelists, poets and churchmen: Pepys, Boswell, Fielding, Walpole, Blake, Mayhew, Wells, Woolf, Spark, ... a timely and brilliant book.' CLAIRE TOMALIN, EVENING STANDARD 'A vivid celebration of the city, but also an elegy for its decline, bubbling with statistics and anecdote, from Boadicea to Betjeman.' RICHARD HOLMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH BOOKS OF THE YEAR
ROY PORTER is Professor in the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, London. He is most recently the author of THE GREATEST BENEFIT TO MANKIND (HarperCollins, 1998) and the forthcoming (10/00) Allen Lane title ENLIGHTENMENT: BRITAIN AND THE CREATION OF THE MODERN WORLD.
Formation to Reformation; Tudor London; war, plague and fire; the triumph of town - from Restoration to Regency; commercial city - 1650-1800; culture city -life under the Georges; capitalism in the capital - the Victorian age; "the contagion of numbers" - the building of the Victorian capital - 1820-1890; Bumbledom? London's politics - 1800-1890; social problems, social improvement - 1820-1890; Victorian life; "a fungus-like growth" - expansion - 1890-1945; modern growth, modern government - 1890-1945; swinging London, dangling economy - 1945-1975; Thatcher's London. Conclusion: the London Marathon.