The Story of Greenwich

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1999 - History - 288 pages

To open this book is to enter a world of living history, of pomp and pageantry, royal fiats and popular revolutions, naval exploits and mercantile triumphs, and soaring scientific achievements. This is the world of Greenwich, England, home of a now mysterious temple in the days of the ancient Romans and of the Millennium Dome in our own, biding its time on the Thames and, flush with the line of longitude zero, keeping the time of the world. Clive Aslet conducts us through the streets and byways of this storied city, showing us scenes from its prodigious history at every turn. His richly illustrated book is a journey through time as it has been lived, and marked, in this city like no other in the world.

Here Sir Walter Raleigh laid down his cloak for Elizabeth I. Here Elizabeth signed the death warrant for Mary, Queen of Scots. A place of royal haunts and regal courting, Greenwich was also the site of Wat Tyler's revolt in the fourteenth century. Home to the navy that supported the world's greatest maritime empire, the city saw the funeral of England's most celebrated naval hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson. Aslet revisits these events, immersing us in courtly drama and popular ferment, cosmopolitan grandeur and bustling commerce. He shows us the remarkable buildings that hold so much of Greenwich's history, from the palaces embellished by Henry VIII to the structures designed by England's renowned architects--from Christopher Wren and Inigo Jones--to the observatories that house the massive telescopes and nautical clocks that have put Greenwich at the forefront of scientific invention and discovery.

Whether recalling the literary marks that writers such as Marlowe and Dickens have left on the city, or tracking London's first railway into Greenwich, or recounting the tales of navigators and statesmen, monarchs and common and uncommon folk, this book tells the story of Greenwich for all time.


What people are saying - Write a review


User Review  - Kirkus

In a lavishly illustrated treatment, Aslet, the editor of Country Life, magnificently brings to life the rich history of Greenwich, England. Americans know the city as the site of the Royal ... Read full review


La Maison de Grenevwyc
Have Never Lived So Merrily as I Have Done This PlagueTime
As Much Honour and Delight as This World Can Give

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Clive Aslet is the editor of the English magazine, Country Life, and the author of several books, including The American Country House.

Bibliographic information