A Year in Books/Day 124: By Permission of Heaven

  • Title: By Permission of Heaven The True Story of the Great Fire of London
  • Author: Adrian Tinniswood
  • Year Published: 2003 (Riverhead Books/Penguin Group)
  • Year Purchased: 2005
  • Source: The Book Loft, Columbus, Ohio
  • About: London was devastated by a fire on 2 September, 1666. By Permission of Heaven chronicles the confusion, terror and panic that befell the city’s inhabitants during the fire and its aftermath. He continues the story through the re-building that set the stage for the modern London that we know today. It’s riveting, nail-biting, human history at its best. I’ve written several times about the challenge of making history seem alive, present and tactile for readers. Fear not, because Tinniswood is a master. Challenge achieved.
  • Motivation: I’m an Anglophile and I particularly love the history of London. I’m weird that way.
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 43: “At some point Hanna was badly burned. But she managed to scramble to safety along the eaves with her father. They were followed by the manservant. Only the maid was left in the house, too frightened of heights, or too confused by the noise and the smoke to escape. As the easterly gales whipped across the rooftops, she died there–the first victim of the Great Fire of London. No one even knows her name.”
  • Happiness Scale: 9

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