It is a fascinating account of a period when it was more an overgrown village than a global city (or even a national capital)... Naismith manages to weave together a very effective account of London’s political and economic development... It is a tall order to cover six of the most obscure centuries in London’s history and not leave readers dizzy and unsatisfied. In conjuring a fine sense of the topography of those Saxon streets, the lives of their inhabitants and the machinations of their rulers, Naismith has more than fulfilled his initial aspiration.
...Naismith was something of a wunderkind... Now an established academic at King’s College London, he has an almost unmatched knowledge of how early English money worked... This particular skill is married to an expert understanding of the disparate archaeology and texts of the period — essential disciplines for grappling with the oddities of medieval England... Naismith’s service to old London is heroic. In carefully sorting and untangling its post-Roman rebirth he allows a crucial phase in its long life to take its rightful place in the annals of the great and monstrous city.