‘Lord! What sad sight it was by moone-light to see, the whole City almost on fire’ â€“ Samuel Pepys
To this day I can remember singing ‘Ring a Ring o’Â Roses’ and ‘Londonâ€™s Burning’, two of many nursery rhymes I learnt as a child that sounded great in the school playground. I can also remember my father encouraging me up the multitude of steps of the Monument in Pudding Lane, where he enthusiastically pointed out that â€˜this is where the great fire of London started, Janeâ€¦ remember that!’ I didnâ€™t think I was going to – not at the age of six – but hey, I did!
My fatherâ€™s history lessons were mild brainwashing of historical fact, particularly up those steps, that day! Of course, those nursery rhymes haveÂ links to the Great Fire of London and the plague –Â as you can find out if you decipher them.
There are other ways to takeÂ a trip into London and back in time, to tread in the footsteps of Samuel Pepys and become a tourist guide for the day. TakeÂ The Great Fire of London â€“ The Essential Guide: it includes first-hand descriptions from the diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, as well as a gripping account from renowned historian Adrian Tinniswood. Or,Â if you want to get a greater sense of the character of Samuel Pepys, his observations and the emotion he felt at that time, consider reading his account ofÂ The Great Fire of London. Continue reading »