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The Great Fire of London: In That Apocalyptic Year, 1666 by Neil Hanson

By Neil Hanson

Approval for the good hearth of London "Popular narrative historical past at its most sensible, good researched, imaginatively and dramatically written. . . . the writer marshals his tale and his mass of latest quotations with nice skill." - instances Literary complement "The brilliance of its narrative chapters . . . a fabulous eye for evocative aspect. Hanson's prose is lively by means of the ferocious power of the fireplace and appears to be like guided through its inexorable flow. He creates the literary identical of the lighting tricks in a catastrophe motion picture. . . . A wealthy mix of mind's eye and research." - The day-by-day Telegraph (London) "He writes with wisdom and verve. as though creating a tv documentary on a common catastrophe, he contains a gripping technical bankruptcy at the mechanism and chemistry of combustion. This works brilliantly. . . . The e-book profits immeasurably from the author's eye for aspect and from his figuring out of the ideals and prejudices of the day. . . . Informative and vigorous account." - The Sunday instances (London) "The top depiction of the good fireplace visible so far. . . . He manages to explain not just the ambience of the development itself, but in addition the event of dwelling in seventeenth-century Britain." - Soho self reliant "A riveting publication in case you like their historical past with somewhat mystery." - The Brisbane information "A rollicking reliable yarn." - The Age (Melbourne) "Blends high-class unique learn with a story variety that mimics fiction. . . . terrible topics have served this guy good and he has a knack for plugging into the darkish topics that run like molten rivers underneath our social veneer." - New Zealand usher in "Neil Hanson's descriptions of the inferno are like CNN stories from Kosovo." - Camden New magazine "It's now not the technical info which makes the publication so riveting although. it is the aptitude with which Hanson invests his account with features frequently reserved for novels-narrative force, persuasive personality sketches, brilliant scene stealing." - Sunday celebrity occasions (New Zealand)

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Asses’ milk, pulled straight into the customer’s own jug, was much favored for young children and the sick. A few people still hurried from shop to shop, even as the apprentices were sweeping the day’s dust and rubbish into the street. A cart stood outside the ships’ chandler just below Thomas’s bakery. The acrid smell of pitch filled the air as a succession of stoutly hooped tar barrels was unloaded and lowered into the cellar. The cart almost blocked the lane; the woman leading the ass barely had room to squeeze past it.

5 On January 6 “Mr Secretary Morris’s cistern of water was turned into blood in one night . . [which] troubled their heads at Court,”6 and on March 31 a “new blazing star appeared every day since Monday at one or two o’clock in the morning and continuing until daylight obscured it . . the city was last night setting up to see it . . ”7 Letters from Vienna also brought news of “a brilliant comet and the appearance of a coffin in the air. ” The Spanish ambassador claimed that “a deformed monster” had been born in London, “horrible in shape and color.

1 And Walter Gostello “looked up to heaven and there saw such a cloud of blackness and dirt as could not possibly arise from any place but hell. . If fire make not ashes of the City, and thy bones also, conclude me a liar for ever. . ”2 Thomas Ellwood, writing in 1662, foresaw both plague and fire. ”4 The close of 1665 had marked the end of a quarter century of constant turmoil and upheaval. The bloody and bitter Civil War, the regicide of Charles I, the Commonwealth and the Protectorate under the iron hand of Oliver Cromwell, the unrest under the weak and indecisive rule of his son Richard, the suppression of Catholicism and—since the Restoration—Nonconformism all had left scars that would not readily be healed.

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