If the storm that struck the Grand Banks off Newfoundland in October 1991 was the Perfect Storm, the fire that destroyed London in September 1666 was the Perfect Fire. fire needs only three things- a spark to ignite it, and fuel and oxygen to feed it. In 1666, a ten-month drought had turned London into a tinderbox. The older parts of the city were almost entirely composed of wood-frame buildings and shanties little more than paper shacks. The riverside wharves and warehouses were stacked with wood, coal and every combustible material known to seventeenth-century man. he fuel was already in place. A fierce easterly gale springing up at the start of September provided the oxygen. All that was now needed was a spark. On 2 September, 1666, London ignited. Over the next four days the gale blew without interruption and the resulting firestorm destroyed the whole city. he Dreadful Judgement is a historical detective story, combining modern knowledge of the physics of fire, forensics, and fire and arson investigation, with moving eye-witness accounts contained in contemporary documents, private papers and personal letters, to produce a searing depiction of the Great Fire of London and
About the Author
Neil Hanson is the author of three acclaimed works of narrative history- The Custom of the Sea, The Dreadful Judgement and The Confident Hope of a Miracle. He lives in Yorkshire with his family.
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