Dan Cruickshank follows in the footsteps of John Stow and John Strype, two of London's greatest chroniclers, to explore one of the most dramatic centuries in the history of London. The 17th century saw London plunged into a series of devastating disasters. The Civil War, a murderous plague and the destruction that was the great fire should have seen the small medieval city all but destroyed. Yet somehow, London not only survived but emerged as one of the wealthiest and most influential cities in Europe. Using two remarkable surveys written at either end of this momentous century, Dan Cruickshank discovers how a unique combination of innovation, ambition and sheer spirit of enterprise saw Londoners thrive. Cruickshank's journey reveals the twists and turns of a century that laid the foundations of one of the most important cities on the planet.