A work of dynamic history that depicts in fascinating detail the cataclysm that was the Great Fire of London and the modern European capital that rose from its ashes.
By Permission of Heaven is a thrilling account of the Great Fire of London that makes terrific use of a vast array of first-person accounts and forensic investigation. The result is an impeccable achievement in historical storytelling that calls to mind equal parts Patricia Cornwell, Sebastian Junger, and Iain Pears.
By Permission of Heaven follows the conflagration from its beginnings in a Pudding Lane baker's kitchen in 1666 through the extreme devastation it wreaked. Adrian Tinniswood recounts the horror and wonder that gripped the city as the flames spread, destroying 13,200 homes, ninety-three churches, St. Paul's Cathedral, and every administrative building in the capital. While looting, savage violence, panic, and chaos reigned within the city and war raged without, hundreds of thousands buried their most precious possessions and fled, never again to see the Lon-don they knew.
Finely depicted here are the towering figures of Restoration England, such as Charles II, Samuel Pepys, and Christopher Wren, who played critical roles in the fire and its aftermath. Tinnis-wood also brings to life the schoolchildren, servants, clerks, and courtiers of the day as they watched the streets run with fire and the greatest city in Britain disappear before their eyes.