Saturday 30 January 2021

Book Review: London and the 17th Century by Margarette Lincoln (Non-Fiction/History)

Title: London and the 17th Century
Author: Margarette Lincoln
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 9 February 2021
eBook - EPUB
Genre: Non-Fiction/History
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The first comprehensive history of seventeenth-century London, told through the lives of those who experienced it

The Gunpowder Plot, the Civil Wars, Charles I’s execution, the Plague, the Great Fire, the Restoration, and then the Glorious Revolution: the seventeenth century was one of the most momentous times in the history of Britain, and Londoners took center stage.
In this fascinating account, Margarette Lincoln charts the impact of national events on an ever-growing citizenry with its love of pageantry, spectacle, and enterprise. Lincoln looks at how religious, political, and financial tensions were fomented by commercial ambition, expansion, and hardship. In addition to events at court and parliament, she evokes the remarkable figures of the period, including Shakespeare, Bacon, Pepys, and Newton, and draws on diaries, letters, and wills to trace the untold stories of ordinary Londoners. Through their eyes, we see how the nation emerged from a turbulent century poised to become a great maritime power with London at its heart—the greatest city of its time.


London and the 17th Century was an interesting and informative read overall. There were some chapters that felt a little dry, but this may be partly because those were the ones in which I already knew most, if not all, of the material from previous reading and research. I particularly enjoyed the sections on things like furniture and changing fashions--the details of everyday life, rather than the political situation--as I had not come across so much detail on those aspects in previous books. Generally, though, the information was well presented and the prose highly readable, with a good balance between giving enough of a description without getting bogged down in dull facts. Recommended to those interested in learning more about England (and particularly London) during the 17th century.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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