Lincoln skilfully steers her narrative through such political squalls without losing sight of the background, as Londoners tried to survive and get on with their lives. Hardly any aspect of the city’s teeming scenes escapes her. We move lodgings with Shakespeare, tread the boards with Nell Gwyn in Aphra Behn’s plays, plan the city’s reconstruction with Christopher Wren, join the Royal Society with Isaac Newton and suffer with the Earl of Strafford, Archbishop Laud, the Duke of Monmouth and the regicides as they meet their deaths on the block. The sheer volume of dazzling data sometimes seems overwhelming. But if you want to know how it felt to be in the city when it previously faced and overcame such epochal events, then this is the book for you.