The 17th century saw London plunge into a series of devastating disasters. The Civil War, a murderous plague, and the destruction of the great fire should have all but destroyed the small medieval city, but somehow it not only survived - it thrived.
To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
For all lovers of British history - you will love the known and little-known facts of this city! It follows an historical timeline but is not dreary or boring because you are viewing the city and important places as the facts unfold. Narration is done the way most stories unfold in the UK, matter-of-fact but with a little tongue-in-cheek. You think he is talking directly to you as he leans in on camera close-ups. Never talking down to you as though you know or care little, you are then brought in to the stories and want to hear more. A sort of "...and then you know what happened?" kind of story telling that says "...you probably know this already but did you also know,..." and then he always concludes in a way that you want more. All in all a definite plus for the presentation and scenery and I would love to see more from this studio.
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2017
This video would be better promoted as London's economic growth in the 17th century.
The plague, fire and monarchy are touched upon in regard to their impact on the economy. In many ways, the video seems to be a series of small (tiny) vignettes that are awkwardly strung together. With a lack of smooth continuity, it was difficult to remain engaged in watching. If it had been longer than an hour, I would have abandoned it.
It was certainly low budget. Dan Cruickshank is walking around, and many times, I guess, we are to assume that he is always walking in the location he is talking about, but, often, who really knows? There are images superimposed on some of the walls/buildings he passes, apparently to add interest, but they are difficult to make out. The Monty Pythonesque effort to create movement of peoples arms, etc., in drawings of the 17th century, is simply odd. It would be nice if the ever expanding map of the territory of London was larger and focused on the city rather than showing huge swaths of countryside.
The economic information the documentary provided was interesting, but not what I expected.
High quality informative and interesting history of London. Reminded me of James Burkes 'Connections'. Slow to start but comes up to a comfortable pace. The host compares the two surveys of London written by chronicler John Stone of the late 16th century and 100 years later in 1720 by John Stripe and describes many historic events that effected the changes to London over that time period. Oh, there are no subtitles or closed captioning. It is an English language spoken program.
But I must say that the camera view is wobbly, uneven, and makes this viewer a bit queasy. Another issue is the host’s soft gossipy style. Instead of a mature narration of history he leans into the camera, gyrating his excited hands, and makes history sound trivial. So very annoying. He also seems to patronize the various experts he encountered. Yet, I learned so much about the hidden story of London despite his distracting style.
Very interesting about how London evolved through the years, but it wasn't as I expected. For one thing, in the title and brief synopsis of this video it stated that there would be subtitles in English. There were no subtitles even though the settings on my kindle were already set for this. The person giving the narration was English (British) but I was able to understand him and the people he interviewed anyway. Still, it was interesting to hear and see even though it was not the most glorious ever produced. Just interesting down deep in it.
While the information presented was interesting, the host's mannerisms were quite distracting. Overly affected, his constant hand motions and oddly timed pauses made viewing less than pleasant. Good information about the development of various parts of the city.
Reviewed in the United States on September 17, 2015
A fine recounting of the century that made London into one of the world's great cities. Well-presented, good locations, smart interviews. An hour well spent.
It does, however, feature out-of-date production values, and mostly centers on an old guy talking to scholars and narrating street footage, so if that doesn't sound interesting, you might not enjoy it as much as I did.
I have been looking for a copy of this magnificent DVD for months-----and now it has arrived! It is contains even more than when I first saw it. A fantastic historical history of our English heritage and who could one wish for than Dan Cruikshank. A must buy.