The Making of London explores the rich history of the Metropolis from the Roman settlement established 2,000 years ago in the area that came to be known as the 'Square Mile' and traces the process whereby it eventually emerged as the world's greatest city. London became the capital and seat of government of Britain, a centre of culture, entertainment and retailing, a major port and industrial centre and world leader in international trade, commerce and finance. The focus is largely on central London but necessarily brings in other nearby districts when events involved interaction with these.
While examining a selection of major historical events, consideration is also given to some of the more unusual and quirky aspects that have contributed to making London the diverse and fascinating place it remains today. A largely chronological approach is taken which emphasises how the lives of the ordinary people were shaped by the events they witnessed such as invasions, riots and rebellions, fires, smogs, wars, epidemics and pandemics. The story embraces the apparent glamour of areas such as Mayfair and the West End but does not neglect districts stalked by crime, poverty and despair. London has always been a place of paradoxes where flaunted wealth has existed alongside appalling social deprivation. The juxtaposition of extravagance and poverty, of high culture with the lowest of low life is a recurrent theme in London's history.
The Making of London will interest newcomers wishing to know about London's past but even those familiar with its history are likely to find something new in its pages.