Open City: London, 1500–1700

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Over the course of two centuries, London changed from the capital of England, secure within its medieval walls, to a metropolitan seat of empire. The city was shaped both by rapid population growth and natural disasters, such as the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed over 400 acres in the heart of the city. These events opened up space for civic repurposing. Drawing on materials as disparate as deeds, diaries, engravings, and maps, Open City illustrates the impact of new ideas, new products, and new people in this rapidly growing capital city.