A fire that originated in a London bakery on September 2, 1666 would spark a massive, four-day inferno that destroyed tens of thousands of buildings in the city's central area and left the city in a state of panic. Accounts of this tragedy were culled from the diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, and iMinds summarizes these four days in compelling fashion. Elouise Rothwell has a remarkably composed presence that allows the facts to build an organic drama, and she seamlessly eases from the destruction and futile attempts to contain the fire to its containment and London's rebuilding aftermath.
Learn about the Great Fire of London with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series. Before the Great Fire, the City of London was filled with crowded, timber-framed buildings with thin, plaster walls. Candles, rush lights, coals, and fireplaces were omnipresent, and the risk of fire was paramount.
The Great Fire of London is believed to have been started by the baker Thomas Farrynger shortly after midnight on Sunday, 2 September 1666, in his shop on Pudding Lane, just East of London Bridge. Within a few hours, the fire had spread rapidly, consuming Pudding Lane, Star Inn at Fish Street Hill and also part of Thames Street. For the next four days the fire raged, mercilessly consuming everything in its wake. Londoners were beside themselves trying to extinguish it. Among average Londoners doing what they could to control the blaze were the likes of the Lord Mayor, the Duke of York, and King Charles II.
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