London: A History, by A. N. Wilson is a brief overview of the historical highlights of one of the world’s most influential cities. The book is actually more of a commentary on the city than a history of it. Wilson is an excellent historical writer, but he was asked to do the impossible, which is to tell the London story in 200 pages.
Despite these limitations, A. N. Wilson, does an admirable job of walking the reader through the important moments of history in the life of this famous city. At times, the reader feels as though the author is narrating a life story. This approach helps maintain reading interest as you consider the magic and majesty of a 2,000-year account of a living and breathing city.
Wilson offers memorable portraits in miniature as the reader sails through the history of the city. From Roman and Norse times, to the 21st century, London the great city comes to life for the reader. Wilson is not only a writer of history but also a biographer and a novelist. He has written earlier on such towering subjects as Leo Tolstoy, the apostle Paul and C. S. Lewis.
This is a book for those who love British history or who plan to make a visit to the historic city. It is well worth the brief time for the reader to take this book and make it a friend for a few hours. It will help you to appreciate the ancient and the contemporary.
Granted there is an abundance of biographies focusing on the towering figure of the 20th century, Winston Churchill, but Christopher Catherwood has written a fascinating self-described, “post-revisionist” view of the leader of Great Britain during the darkest days of World War II. Catherwood is not a novice historian. He teaches both at Cambridge and at the University of Richmond. He has served as an advisor to the former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Additionally, Catherwood is a lecturer at the Churchill Memorial Library in Fulton, Missouri.