‘Consistently illuminating … Like all the best stories, it is about the timeless tides of power and influence … trade deals can sometimes be sexy, thrilling and epic’ Sinclair McKay, Spectator
Life in Europe was fundamentally changed in the 16th century by the astonishing discoveries of the New World and of direct sea routes to Asia. To start with England was hardly involved and London remained a gloomy, introverted medieval city. But as the century progressed something extraordinary happened.
Stephen Alford’s evocative, original and fascinating new book uses the same skills that made his widely praised The Watchers so successful, bringing to life the network of merchants, visionaries, crooks and sailors who changed London forever. In a sudden explosion of energy English ships were suddenly found all over the world – trading with Russia and the Levant, exploring Virginia and the Arctic, and fanning out across the Indian Ocean.
London’s Triumph is above all about the people who made this possible – the families, the guild members, the money-men who were willing to risk huge sums and sometimes their own lives in pursuit of the rare, exotic and desirable. Their ambitions fuelled a new view of the world – initiating a long era of trade and empire, the consequences of which we still live with today.