Simon Jenkins is author of the bestselling A Short History of England, A Short History of Europe, Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations, England's Thousand Best Churches and England's Thousand Best Houses. He is a former Editor of the Evening Standard and The Times, and columnist for the Guardian.
'I decided I'd reduce the height of a pile of recommended books by actually reading some of them. Thus I sampled the delights of Simon Jenkins's A Short History of London -- Sue MacGregor, broadcaster Simon Jenkins has written a remarkably brisk, vivid and deeply well-informed account of London's history which is throughout much enlivened by his knowledge of London's planning, buildings and topography, his admiration for terrace housing and London squares, his interest in how London has been depicted and described, and his detestation of so much insensitive modern development A short, invigorating gallop over two and a half thousand years * Scotsman on A Short History of Europe * Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book for Christmas...I can imagine no better companion on a voyage across England * Max Hastings, Daily Telegraph on England's Thousand Best Houses * A handsome book ... full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought * Michael Wood, New Statesman on A Short History of England * Jenkins's first book, A City at Risk, in 1970 was subtitled A Close Look at London's Streets. Five decades on, he brings much knowledge and experienceto his defence of those streets, in this study of the battle for London's appearance - why it looks as it does today, more variegated and visually anarchic than any comparable city -- Christopher Howse * The Telegraph * Extremely informative and witty Simon Jenkins has written a vivid and deeply well-informed account of London's history which is throughout much enlivened by his knowledge of London's planning, buildings and topography, his admiration for terrace housing and London squares, his interest in how London has been depicted and described, and his detestation of so much insensitive modern development Jenkins's handling of the preceding two millennia is clear and informative . . . there are also nuggets and insights . . . accessible, clear and readable -- Rowan Moore * The Observer * Fascinating and timely. Truly the story of the fabric we see before us. Required reading for every developer, planner or councillor who holds London in trust today -- Griff Rhys Jones