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I love London and I love history so it's probably not surprising that Edward Rutherford's London is one of my all-time favourite books. Although it is fiction, it covers so many of the major events of history that you learn heaps, but also you get an amazing sense of the changing face of London - how it looked, how it felt, how it smelt etc. Rutherford gives you maps and family trees showing how his characters over the centuries are linked - and I found myself regularly thumbing back to check out where something was on the map, or to remind myself of someone's mother, grandfather etc - which is quite possibly why my paperback copy fell to bits! Quite apart from the incredible feat of showing the timeline of history in (in my view) the most amazing city in the world, he also presents a number of families whose stories intertwine with a straightforward easy-read technique. There's no flowery verse here. I've read it countless time and would recommend it to anyone interested in history or London.