By Permission of Heaven: The Story of the Great Fire of London

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Riverhead Books, 2004 - History - 331 pages
This book is a work of dynamic history that depicts in fascinating detail the cataclysm that was the Great Fire of London and the modern European capital that rose from its ashes. By Permission of Heaven is a thrilling account of the Great Fire of London that makes terrific use of a vast array of first-person accounts and forensic investigation. The result is an impeccable achievement in historical storytelling that recalls equal parts Patricia Cornwell, Sebastian Junger, and Iain Pears. By Permission of Heaven follows the conflagration from its beginnings in a Pudding Lane baker's kitchen in 1666 through the extreme devastation it wreaked. Adrian Tinniswood recounts the horror and wonder that gripped the city as the flames spread, destroying 13,200 homes, 93 churches, St. Paul's Cathedral, and every administrative building in the capital. While looting, savage violence, panic, and chaos reigned within the city and war raged without, hundreds of thousands buried their most precious possessions and fled, never again to see the London they knew. Finely depicted here are the towering figures of Restoration England, such as Charles II, Samuel Pepys, and Christopher Wren, who played critical roles in the events of the fire and its aftermath. But Tinniswood also brings to life the schoolchildren, servants, clerks, and courtiers of the day who watched the streets run with fire and the greatest city in Britain disappear before their eyes. - Jacket flap.

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User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

On September 1, 1666, the center of London caught fire (apparently due to an improperly banked bakery oven fire) and, over the next five days, burned down. Figures are not exact, but somewhere around ... Read full review

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User Review  - CarltonC - LibraryThing

An enjoyable, readable and informative story of the Great Fire of London of September 1666 (350 years ago as I write). It includes a brief introduction to the historical background (a serious outburst ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Adrian Tinniswood is the author of His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren and Visions of Power: Ambition and Architecture from Ancient Times to the Present. He is a respected author, lecturer, and broadcaster in Britain and the United States.

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