This Time London Sits By The Fire & Watches


Great Fire

350 years ago (well, not quite – on September 16th), the Great Fire of London destroyed nearly all of central London’s wooden buildings. Samuel Pepys famously watched the conflagration that not only followed the devastation of the previous year’s bubonic plague but also came in the middle of several other events; the Anglo-Dutch war, public resentment at the restoration of the pro-Catholic Charles II and anti-court feeling in the Square Mile (the City had stoutly supported Cromwell).

There are a huge number of books on the subject, from Adrian Tinniswood’s excellent ‘By Permission of Heaven’ to one by Peter Ackroyd (of course) and an elegant new account, ‘The Great Fire of London: 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of 1666′, aimed at younger readers, by illustrator James Weston Lewis, with words by Emma Adams.

London likes to find interesting ways of celebrating disasters, so the wooden city was recreated and burned again. Here’s the full televised account; skip the fatuous presenter trolling for Tweets and come in at around the 2 minute mark.

One comment on “This Time London Sits By The Fire & Watches”

  1. John Howard says:

    I’m reluctant to let go of the food theme attached to some of the recent post so, just as an aside to the above mention of Samuel Pepys, I understand that among other things he may have buried in his back garden to avoid the flames was his Parmesan cheese. ( Sensible man )

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