Wallflower Dispatches

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it’s just a book…

July 9th, 2009 · No Comments · Historical Novels, It's just a Book

Quite predictably, this sweeping biography of London from before it existed as a city to how we know it today, would be a great holiday read.

Rutherfurd draws on the extensive research that is well documented at the superb Museum of London and manages to link the exciting history of Britain’s capital by introducing a number of fictional key families whose fortune we follow throughout the ages.

The choice of events is clever and key to the drama of the book and London has many of those pick from; the Roman occupation, the building of the Tower of London, Henry VIII and the Revolution are just some examples.

While some of the chapters might read a little too much like a history lesson (for example, we find out early on how family names evolved), the information we learn compensates for the at times laborious style. Again Rutherfurd manages to focus on those historical details that actually still have relevance to us today.

It feels as if Rutherfurd enjoys the early history of London more than the recent Victorian events. His thorough research ensures that the reader gets a very informed idea of how London used to look at its different distant times in history, both geographically and socially.

If you love London, this novel is a fun introduction to its history.

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