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Lavish, large format picture book about London, with Peter Ackroyd’s inimitable text and captions. Divided into three parts: -Fire and Destiny London as metropolis; maps and ‘layering’ and ‘continuities’ (the same street through the ages); Roman London; the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of 1940; -Crowded London Begins with over-crowding of the city in Elizabethan times; spectacle in the streets (street sellers, street theatre, street fairs, prostitutes etc); the London mob (the Gordon riots, Notting Hill 20th century riots); -Water and darkness London as centre of 19th century empire; the Thames; the urban poor; the homeless; sewage; the building of the underground; the lost rivers (the river Fleet etc) ; the blackout of the 2nd World War; London fog.