London in Flames: The Capital's History Through its Fires
"A woman could piss it out," sneered Lord Mayor Bludworth, dismissing the outbreak that blazed into the Great Fire. London has burned before, and would do so again.
Old hazards from overcrowding, jerrybuilding and social unrest were later fuelled by gas, electricity and petrol -- risks multiplied by Twentieth Century toxic chemicals and nuclear waste.
Raging fires overwhelmed the puny efforts of parish squirts and bucket chains, until enlightened Seventeenth Century speculators set up the first insurance offices. Their firemen served London, until these private brigades finally merged to form the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1866.
Anna Milford traces the capital's history through its fires, four of them deliberate and deadly. It is a story of reformers and eccentrics, rogues and heroes highlighted against the flames.
Anna Milford is a qualified City of London guide and popular lecturer. London in Flames is her third book about London and her fourth book of historical research.
Year published: 1998
Imprint: Comerford & Miller
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