I got this book at a library sale several years ago and then it sat on my to-be-read shelf until I finally made it something of a priority by adding to my official TBR Pile Challenge list in January. Once again, I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it, I really enjoyed it! It's a book that spans the history of London, from Roman times to the present day (well, present when the book was published in 1997). I enjoy history when it relates to everyday life, i.e., when I can understand things like what people did all day, how they lived, how they worked, what they ate, what they wore, what they did for fun, etc., and this book is exactly that kind of history. I found myself very absorbed by the stories that followed some family lines through history, and it was a great way to brush up on or learn about historical events. I also enjoy being someplace and thinking to myself about how I am often standing on streets or going into buildings that have been used for a long time, and feeling a connection to the people in the past in this way. For that reason the last chapter almost had me in tears. I think the author might feel the same way I do about history.
The book is dedicated to the curators and staff of the Museum of London, a wonderful museum I was lucky enough to visit, coincidentally around the time this book was originally published. I loved the museum and I always highly recommend it to people visiting London, and I am very much hoping to get back to it soon. Now I'll add this book to the visiting-London recommendation too. In fact, I wish I could have read it before I visited London, but at least when I go back I might be able to remember some of what I read. I'd also read other books by this author, apparently he has written other books about other places/cities. They'll probably have to wait until I am able to clear some existing to-be-read books but they're on the list. I highly recommend this book!