Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “London Rising: The Men Who Made Modern London” as Want to Read:
London Rising: The Men Who Made Modern London
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

London Rising: The Men Who Made Modern London

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Like a phoenix from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1666, London was reborn to become the greatest metropolis of the age. London Rising tells the story of five extraordinary men and the city they transformed.

By the middle of the seventeenth century, London was on the verge of collapse. Its ancient infrastructure could no longer support its explosive growth; the English Civ
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Walker Books (first published May 8th 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about London Rising, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about London Rising

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 148)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 25, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
This book provides a detailed overview of the events in London from the 1640's-1720. The lives of 5 men are the focus of the book: John Locke, Christopher Wren, John Evelyn, Nicholas Barbon and Robert Hooke. The Civil War is shown as the backdrop which shapes the childhoods and mindsets of these men. The central event of the book is the Great Fire of London; and the struggle to recreate the city. The book covers the reigns from King Charles II to King George I, the interactions between monarch, ...more
Tracey Sinclair
Jan 14, 2013 Tracey Sinclair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched and absorbing - if so densely written it's hard to read a lot at one time - this book looks at London in the 1660s-1700s, encompassing the Plague & Great Fire. Superficially, it's about St Paul's, but in fact examines the far broader background to the rebuilding. Will make you want to go wander round the Cathedral, and do a tour of Wren's churches. Recommended.
Eliot Boden
No description I read about this book on the back cover really prepared me for the topic. It's more than a biography of notable historic figures, and far more than a history of the construction of St. Paul's Cathedral. London Rising tells the story of London's transformation from medieval town to mercantile city through the crucible of war, pestilence, and fire. It is a social, political, and scientific history of seventeenth-century England. Leo Hollis' book is a masterful blend of intriguing p ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Apr 09, 2016 Daniel Kukwa rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
It's an excellent work of scholarship, but I found it a heavy-going read. I can only point to one reason for this: in spite of my interest in the era, Christopher Wren is the only character I found fascinating from start to finish; the other subjects of the book simply didn't hold my interest to a similar degree. Chalk this rating up to the fancies of personal preference.
May 06, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-history
This books covers a rather intense period of English history when it seemed that society itself would fall apart. Reading the opening chapter the I was struck by several parallels between 17th century England and early 21st century America. Once again the issues of religion and the course of the nation drove the English people to take sides and ultimately remove and beheaded Charles the First. It also was a time of great intellectual upheaval as well. Instead of Anglican versus Catholic
it became
Raving Redcoat
Jan 23, 2016 Raving Redcoat rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at how the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire paralleled the reorganization of English society during the same time. A bit of a slog at times, but well worth reading.
Aug 04, 2013 Steve rated it it was ok
The life stories of the main characters, Wren, Hooke, etc were interesting, but the quotes and references weighed the book down for me. I was more interested in the development of London at the time - after the Great Fire - than the politics and social stuff behind it all. Although there were a few illustrations I also felt that for a book with such a strong architectural slant that more of the buildings and stories detailed should have had illustrations to help envisage them.
Dec 29, 2008 Andrea rated it really liked it
A thorough view of London becoming a city and views of the men who shaped the city. The wavering storyline is sometimes distracting-shifts from Wren to Locke, to James II randomly. The organization could be better. Yet, it covers everything. But in covering everything it surely tires the reader. At one point I took a break and re-read Locke's Essay on Human Understanding just to give myself a rest and focus on one thing instead of 15. Next on my list is Newton's Principia.
Michael Pryor
Jan 31, 2015 Michael Pryor rated it really liked it
Thorough, assured, inspiring.
Lauren Albert
I found the book rather dull and the long sections of architectural detail tedious (especially without pictures to help those who can't visualize such things!). Like another reviewer said, it seemed disorganized--jumping back and forth between the main protagonists.
David Eppenstein
Another book not meant for the casual reader. This book will be enjoyed by the student of English history, architectural history and city planning. Its about Christopher Wren's re-build of London and St. Paul's after the Great Fire of 1666.
Group biography of how Christopher Wren, John Locke, John Evelyn, Robert Hooke, and Nicholas Barbon (the last a doctor turned real estate developer) changed the city after the September 1666 fire
Trevor Holcroft
Sep 14, 2012 Trevor Holcroft rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. Quite revealing, not just for the work of Wren and Hooke which I knew about but for introducing me to the life of property developer Nicholas Barbon.
Oct 08, 2009 Hillary added it
Shelves: library
Not bad, but not as good as other books I've read about these people/period.
Sarah marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Sara added it
Mar 21, 2016
Rebecca Matlock
Rebecca Matlock marked it as to-read
Mar 20, 2016
Da-ri-ko rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2016
Lelietje marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2016
Edward Solomon
Edward Solomon rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2016
Jessica marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2016
Janine Urban
Janine Urban marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2016
Dan Wright
Dan Wright rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2016
Paul Connuck
Paul Connuck rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2016
Timothy rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2015
Savannah Toner
Savannah Toner rated it liked it
Dec 03, 2015
Ujjual marked it as to-read
Oct 29, 2015
Emily Victoria
Emily Victoria marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2015
Madison Hoyles
Madison Hoyles marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book