Audio Books : Misc. Educational : MP3/Variable : English
Untold numbers perished; great buildings and ancient districts disappeared; knowledge acquired and stored over centuries was lost forever. The Great Fire of London accomplished what the Spanish Armada and the plague had failed to do -- it reduced the world's most majestic city to utter ruin.
The Great Fire of London recreates this cataclysmic event through precisely etched dramas drawn from firsthand accounts of those who lived through the all-consuming blaze. Like all great disasters, the great fire brought out the best, the worst, and the most heartbreaking aspects of humanity. You'll meet the king who rallied his subjects to battle the fire, the cart drivers who charged a lifetime's wages to haul a single load of goods to safety, and the elderly couple who continued to sweep their tidy cottage, even as they were engulfed in flames.
With an unerring eye for evocative detail, author Neil Hanson creates a striking portrait of pre-fire London, its narrow alleys and jettied houses a testament to the city's medieval past, every vestige of which would soon be obliterated. His graphic descriptions of the conflagration, written in prose as fiercely driven as the flames themselves, are, according to the Daily Telegraph (London), "the literary equivalent of the special effects in a disaster movie."
Many Londoners were certain that the fire was a dreadful judgment - God's wrath visited at last on a sinful earth. The book describes in detail the chemistry and behavior of firestorms, making it easy to understand why anyone might have felt that way - especially when the melting leaden roof of St. Paul's Cathedral rained boiling droplets down upon terrified onlookers. The book also lays the groundwork for several convincing theories on the origins of the blaze.
Recorded Books, Inc.
Unabridged, 9.75 hrs.
Narrated by Simon Prebble