Rutherfurd, Edward "London - The Novel" - 1997
I absolutely loved this book. I'm a huge fan of England and London is one of my favourite cities ever. The author describes the history of this fantastic town through the lives of about half a dozen different families. He manages to let you live their lives and learn about the development, the achievements, the shortcomings of life between BC and now. But you don't just get to know the families but also their famous contemporaries. You get to meet Chaucer and Shakespeare, all the different kings and queens of England and Scotland, Sir Christopher Wren, a lot of bishops and other important clergymen. And by following their lives, you follow the life of this interesting city and the river that created it.
The fictional families also stem from all sorts of backgrounds, you have fishers and priests, merchantes and dock workers, maids and mistresses. Read it, it's totally worth it. 1,299 pages of life in London. Great!
From the back cover: "[sic] Edward Rutherfurd's classic novel of London, a glorious pageant spanning two thousand years. He brings this vibrant city's long and noble history alive through the ever-shifting fortunes, fates, and intrigues of half-a-dozen families, from the age of Julius Caesar to the twentieth century.
Generation after generation, these families embody the passion, struggle, wealth, and verve of the greatest city in the world."
Other great books by Edward Rutherfurd: "The Forest", "Dublin" and "Awakening"
Find a link to all my reviews on his other novels here.