“A TOUR DE FORCE . . . London tracks the history of the English capital from the days of the Celts until the present time. . . . Breathtaking.”—The Orlando Sentinel
A master of epic historical fiction, Edward Rutherford gives us a sweeping novel of London, a glorious pageant spanning two thousand years. He brings this vibrant city's long and noble history alive through his saga of ever-shifting fortunes, fates, and intrigues of a half-dozen families, from the age of Julius Caesar to the twentieth century. Generation after generation, these families embody the passion, struggle, wealth, and verve of the greatest city in the Old World.
Praise for London
“Remarkable . . . The invasion by Julius Caesar’s legions in 54 B.C. . . . The rise of chivalry and the Crusades . . . The building of the Globe theatre . . . and the coming of the Industrial Revolution. . . . What a delightful way to get the feel of London and of English history. . . . We witness first-hand the lust of Henry VIII. We overhear Geoffrey Chaucer deciding to write The Canterbury Tales. . . . Each episode is a punchy tale made up of bite-size chunks ending in tiny cliffhangers.”—The New York Times
“Hold-your-breath suspense, buccaneering adventure, and passionate tales of love and war.”—The Times (London)
“Fascinating . . . A sprawling epic.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Like his aesthetic mentor, James Michener, Rutherfurd (Russka; Sarum) takes readers from primordial days to the present; here he focuses on the last 2000 years of humanity on the island kingdom as manifested through the fortunes of seven families and one ancient, ever-evolving city. Such chapter headings as "The Tower," "Hampton Court" and "The Globe" reveal Rutherfurd's primary technique--to create verbal dioramas that, alas, too often feel as static and didactic as museum displays. Rutherfurd lavishes his greatest attention on the minor figures in English history rather than the greats. Instead of Shakespeare there is Edmund Meredith, playwright of the middling The Blackamoor; instead of Christopher Wren, there is a cowardly, anti-papist woodcarver; and there is Isaac Fleming, creator of the wedding cake. Due to the sheer scope of Rutherfurd's vision, many signal events, such as the Black Death, are afforded only a glancing nod, while the first and final chapters read more like a mannerly BBC documentary than a proper setup for a legend on a grand scale. Rutherfurd's workmanlike narrative ultimately buckles under the weight of its own vast scale, yet readers will savor individual tidbits like the snapshot of young Geoffrey Chaucer saving an abandoned baby. Readers with imagination may even come away with the sense that great cities aren't just places but living beings with hearts and souls. Major ad/promo; BOMC main selection; simultaneous Random House audio; author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Captivating reading with a brilliant blend of history and fictional characters and events that bring the history of London alive.
Entertaining book about London
It is now a book easy to read. The characters story is taking too much from the real history side. More historical details would have been great.
This book brought London to life. The narrative is inviting and the structure keeps the reader engaged. If you are traveling to London, this book is a required pre-read. Spectacular!