Wednesday, June 18, 2014

[Review] The Annals of London: A Year-By-Year Record of a Thousand Years of History by John Richardson

Publisher: University of California Press September 4, 2000
Genre: Non-fiction, History of London, London, England, British History, British History Reading Challenge 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 408
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Library copy

Available through Amazon, but from outside sources. 

Link at publisher with excerpt

The Annals of London, is a reference book for lovers of British history. The introduction chapter focuses on the era when the Romans came to Britain "for the second time in AD 43." They invaded, "complete with elephants" in order to be "the trading influence of the British province." It's unclear what Londinium (London) had been established as originally by the Britain people.
*Everyday Life in Medieval London, by Toni Mounts will teach more in depth about this period of history. I have read this book and a review will be posted soon.
The geographical area had streams of water and wetlands, the river Thames provided access for ships and trade. By AD 410 the Romans had left, except for those who'd made England their home. The Anglo-Saxon people had already been moving to England. They established settlements and intermarried with the Britain people. They held the presence and authority until the Vikings arrived in the 8th century. The Viking's invasion was marked with death and destruction and robbery of the people. The year 1065 is the beginning point of the dates in "The Annals of London." Not every year is mentioned. The last date is 1999. Several key maps from the various time periods are illustrated. I especially found interesting a map of the Great Fire of 1666, where it began and where it spread to.
Examples of dates and history:
1. The first great fire in London is recorded to be in 1077.
2. The Domesday Survey 1086.
3. Richard I crowned 1189.
4. An earthquake 1247. Other earthquakes through the centuries are recorded as well.
5. William Wallace executed 1305.
6. Hurricanes, droughts, famines, diseases (including the plague, sweating sickness).
7. Restoration of the monarchy under Charles II 1660.
8. The Great Fire of 1666. This example is written in more detail than many of the other entries. I'm anxious to read more about this event.
9. Twining's Tea established 1706.
10. Important buildings, train stations, hospitals, workhouses, museums, art galleries, bookshops, library---are included with dates and information.

I so wish I owned this marvelous book, but it is a library copy. I took notes. Any reader who loves British history, or is a researcher whether professional or academic (or like myself a reader and reviewer), or a writer, this book is a must read.

1 comment: