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Books in brief: London’s Triumph by Stephen Alford

How London’s horizons expanded to encompass the globe

By Ben Wilson   June 2017

London’s Triumph: Merchant Adventures in the Tudor City by Stephen Alford (Allen Lane, £20)

At the start the 16th century, London was an unspectacular city, marginal to the commerce and politics of the continent. It was a satellite of the great European entrepôt, Antwerp; its merchants were content to trade only as far as the Baltic, the Low Countries and France. In this compelling and lucid account of Tudor London, Stephen Alford shows us a city undergoing dizzying transformation.

By the century’s close, London’s population had quadrupled, its population swollen by migrants from…

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