Narrated By: Anthony Howell
Duration: 13 hours and 19 minutes
What to expect
Brought to you by Penguin.
LONDON: a settlement founded by the Romans, occupied by the Saxons, conquered by the Danes and ruled by the Normans. This unremarkable place - not even included in the Domesday Book - 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 rising 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. Based in part on his own witness of the events that shaped the post-war city, and with his trademark colour and authority, he shows above all how London has taken shape over more than two thousand years. This is narrative history at its finest, from the most ardent protector of our heritage.
Local history, European history: the Normans
Listen to a sample
A short, invigorating gallop over two and a half thousand years
'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
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
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
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
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
Jenkins's first book, A City at Risk, in 1970 was subtitled A Close Look at London's Streets.
Five decades on, he brings much knowledge and experienceto 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"
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
Jenkins's handling of the preceding two millennia is clear and informative . . . there are also nuggets and insights . . . accessible, clear and readable