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When London Burned : a Story of Restoration Times and the Great Fire   By: (1832-1902)

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When London Burned by George Alfred Henty is a captivating historical fiction novel that takes readers back to the Restoration Times and the catastrophic event known as the Great Fire. Henty's meticulous research and vivid storytelling abilities bring this historical event to life, creating an engaging and educational reading experience.

The story follows the life of Cyril Shenstone, a young protagonist who finds himself at the heart of the chaos and destruction caused by the Great Fire. As an orphan, Cyril is thrown into a world of uncertainty and danger, facing challenges and adversities at every turn. The author does an excellent job of portraying the emotions and struggles of the characters, allowing readers to empathize with them throughout their journey.

What sets this book apart is Henty's attention to detail. The descriptions of 17th-century London are so vivid that readers can almost feel the bustling streets and smell the smoke from the fires. The author's extensive knowledge of the historical context shines through, as he seamlessly weaves historical facts and events into the narrative. This not only adds authenticity to the story but also provides readers with a deeper understanding of the time period.

Henty's writing style is clear and concise, making the book accessible to readers of all ages. The pace of the story is well-balanced, with enough action and suspense to keep readers engaged, while also allowing for moments of reflection and character development. The author skillfully intertwines themes of resilience, friendship, and bravery, offering valuable life lessons alongside the historical backdrop.

While the plot is centered around the Great Fire of London, the book goes beyond the immediate disaster, delving into the aftermath and the city's remarkable restoration. Henty highlights how the tragedy served as a catalyst for positive change, bringing about urban development and improved firefighting infrastructure. This exploration of the aftermath adds depth to the story and showcases the resilience of the people of London.

In conclusion, When London Burned by George Alfred Henty is a compelling historical fiction novel that brings to life the Restoration Times and the Great Fire of London. With its well-researched historical backdrop, relatable characters, and engaging narrative, this book is a must-read for history enthusiasts and fiction lovers alike. Henty's ability to educate and entertain simultaneously makes this an excellent choice for both young readers and adults seeking an immersive historical experience.

First Page:

Charles Aldarondo, Tiffany Vergon, S.R. Ellison, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.




We are accustomed to regard the Reign of Charles II. as one of the most inglorious periods of English History; but this was far from being the case. It is true that the extravagance and profligacy of the Court were carried to a point unknown before or since, forming, by the indignation they excited among the people at large, the main cause of the overthrow of the House of Stuart. But, on the other hand, the nation made extraordinary advances in commerce and wealth, while the valour of our sailors was as conspicuous under the Dukes of York and Albemarle, Prince Rupert and the Earl of Sandwich, as it had been under Blake himself, and their victories resulted in transferring the commercial as well as the naval supremacy of Holland to this country. In spite of the cruel blows inflicted on the well being of the country, alike by the extravagance of the Court, the badness of the Government, the Great Plague, and the destruction of London by fire, an extraordinary extension of our trade occurred during the reign of Charles II. Such a period, therefore, although its brilliancy was marred by dark shadows, cannot be considered as an inglorious epoch... Continue reading book >>

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