No city can lay claim to a more dramatic history than London. Engulfed in calamities that seemed to mark its end - fire, plague, riot, civil war, mass bombing - from each crisis it has emerged stronger than ever. Its cultural life, and the long heritage that underpins it, has made London one of the most visited and best-loved places on Earth. It is this extraordinary story that "London: The Story of a Great City" encapsulates: the rise of the city from a remote outpost of Rome's northern empire; the growth of trade that sent money and ships to every corner of the earth; the roll-call of great Londoners from Shakespeare to Dickens, from Cromwell to Churchill; the strength of its institutions, Parliament prominent among them; the endurance of its people in the face of disaster and war; its innovations in enterprise and pleasure; its dark side in crime and mayhem; and, the positive example it gives the world as a tolerant city in the face of global movements of people. For its lavish illustrations and memorabilia, it will draw on the fabulous resources of the Museum of London, one of the world's great city museums.
The Museum's uniquely rich collections will illuminate the whole of London's history through artefacts, documents, maps, paintings and photographs.
Jerry White is Visiting Professor in London History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and the foremost historian of modern London. His London in the 20th Century won the Wolfson History Prize for 2001; and his bestselling London in the 19th Century was published to critical acclaim in 2007. His trilogy on modern London will be completed by a volume on the 18th century, due to be published by Random House in 2012.