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The Fire of London

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 11 December 2008

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Great Fire of London which destroyed up to a third of the city in 1666. Samuel Pepys described the scene in his diary:

“all over the Thames, with one's face in the wind, you were almost burned with a shower of firedrops…and in corners and upon steeples, and between churches and houses, as far as we could see up the hill of the City, we saw the fire …It made me weep to see it.”

The London that rose from the ashes was a visible manifestation of ideas; of the politics, religion, economics and science of the heady Restoration period.
Christopher Wren, of course, but also Robert Hooke, The Royal Society, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Restoration court of Charles II and, inevitably, building regulations.

With Lisa Jardine, Centenary Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London; Vanessa Harding, Reader in London History at Birkbeck, University of London and Jonathan Sawday, Professor of English Studies at the University of Strathclyde

  • Further Reading

    The Literary and Cultural Spaces of Restoration London by Cynthia Wall (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

    The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London by Lisa Jardine (HarperCollins, new edition 2004)

    On a Grander Scale: The Outstanding Life of Sir Christopher Wren by Lisa Jardine (HarperCollins, 2003)

    By Permission of Heaven: The Story of the Great Fire of London by Adrian Tinniswood (Pimlico, paperback 2004)

    The Great Fire of London by Stephen Porter (Sutton, 2001)

    The Dreadful Judgement: The True Story of the Great Fire of London by Neil Hanson (Black Swan, 2002)

    The London Rich: The Creation of a Great City, from 1666 to the Present by Peter Thorold (Penguin, 2001)

    Ingenious Pursuits by Lisa Jardine (Abacus, 2000)

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