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From the Publisher
Loved and hated in equal measure, London was for centuries literally the world's greatest city. Its citizens have seen everything from pilgrimages, celebrations, acts of heroism and moments of religious contemplation to riots, executions, grisly murders and disastrous fires. This anthology is a history of work and capital, of power and exuberance, and of great creativity from a rich host of artists and writers, Pepys and Dickens among them, but also of violent crime, exploitation, loneliness and extreme hardship