By Permission of Heaven by Adrian Tinniswood

By Permission of Heaven

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 Cornw...

Details By Permission of Heaven

TitleBy Permission of Heaven
Release DateJan 5th, 2004
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreHistory, Nonfiction

Reviews By Permission of Heaven

  • Geevee
    A solid account of the events leading up to the Great Fire with chapters following its course and then the aftermath. But why three stars? Well I liked it but unlike the blurb it didn't grip me. It was well researched, and as Andrew Holgate of The Sunday Times says "the fresh emphasis he places on its fallout" were strengths and new things for this reader, but I did find myself at times wanting to be finished with it.The lead up is well paced and...
  • Mike
    By Permission of Heaven gets 3 Stars for a well-rounded look at the 1666 Great Fire of London. Tinniswood takes us on a tour of middle 17th Century England just prior to the fire. England is at war with the Dutch and French. London has just suffered (and continues to suffer) under the plague (in 1665, over 7,000 people per week died of the plague in London). It is only 6 years since Charles II was restored to the throne. The heir to the throne is...
  • Meaghan
    This is an excellent piece of history, a gripping hour-by-hour account of the Great Fire of London and its aftermath. The descriptions, many of them taken from diaries of the period, make you feel like you were really there. London was completely trashed -- picture New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, except with fire instead of flood. Yet, surprisingly, there were very few fatalities (perhaps a dozen or less), and London as a whole displayed adm...
  • Margaret
    A rattling good read. This is the story of the period leading up to London's Great Fire, the terrifying and confused days of the fire itself, and then the aftermath. Tinniswood has pieced together the human, political and economic consequences of this cataclysm in a measured, yet gripping fashion, recreating the period in telling detail. Who knew, for instance, that the clothworkers of Coventry would suffer so from the consequences of the fire? T...
  • Jerry Smith
    In depth account of the Great Fire of London with a lot of detailed context and personalities. Sets the scene of the conflagration very well, England essentially (as we always have really) warring with the rest of Europe - notably the Dutch and French at this time.There is a lot to learn about this fascinating period of English history and this book puts the fire in context. As a result there is a lot to read and the historical events are woven i...
  • Travis
    "By Permission of Heaven" is described as "spellbinding history." I would certainly say that the book is very interesting and informative, and some of it is indeed fascinating, but much of it is just plain tedious. I learned a few things about Stuart London that I hadn't known before, and what Tinniswood shares with the reader about firefighting technology of the time and the various characters involved, the guilds, the progress of the fire, etc....
  • Andrew
    To say this is exhaustive is an understatement. I feel like I know everything there is to know about every brick and scorched and scruffy Londoner. I found it detracted from the overall narrative unfortunately and it felt like a slog, despite it being about a massive fire. Maybe I'm just thick and need my history span around a pretty narrative.
  • Nicole
    A solid history of the 1666 fire, but also the surrounding context and immediate repercussions. I especially appreciated how the author illustrated the role of racism and religious conflict in the reaction to the fire - goes to show how history continues to repeat itself.
  • Mercedes Rochelle
    The story of the Great Fire of London is much more complicated that I originally supposed. I did not realize that England was at war with the Dutch even as the fire started, and this hostility amplified an event already chaotic to the average Londoner. I also didn’t know that the country was in the grip of an extraordinary gale which blew for days and was probably the prime reason the flames spread so relentlessly. What looks to us like a horri...
  • Carlton
    An enjoyable, readable and informative story of the Great Fire of London of September 1666 (350 years ago as I write).It includes a brief introduction to the historical background (a serious outburst of plague in 1665 and war with the Dutch), which helps put the fire in context, and also several chapters about the aftermath, not just in terms of the rebuilding, but also political and cultural responses, with brief comment about key characters. Al...
  • Dara
    This book was my introduction to Adrian Tinniswood's work. If you could go back in time and experience the fire for yourself you would not have a better insight into the devastation. We are given experiences and vantage points from all walks of life, from kings to common people, as well as the attitudes and prejudices that fed the fire as surely as the wooden buildings.
  • Nomanisan
    Scholarly but readable; author includes amazing information about the fire, its context, and its aftermath. I can now recognize the thinking of the time which said that there MUST have been involvement from the Dutch and French. The history I used to teach has come alive while I have been reading this book.
  • Avis Black
    The author spends too much time on boring side details and not enough on fighting the fire, so the book lacks drama.
  • iain meek
    Well researched and written. Fascinating to discover that many at the time regarded it as a Popish plot.
  • Sue
    Interesting documentary mixed with anecdotes of day to day life in the times and political background.
  • Susan Abernethy
    This is an excellent book. Read it a few years ago and am re-reading as research for a blog post on the The Great Fire. Really well written.
  • Shane
    fascinating, vastly concise, great historical reference.
  • John
    Only read because got given it as a wedding present - great fire started same day as our wedding. Not enough material to make a book, so lots of filler
  • Suzanne
    Well-researched, wonderfully readable, Tinniswood's prose really brings the Great Fire of London to life. Highly recommended.
  • Roderick Ellem
    A very good general history of the great fire. Easy to read and enjoyable.