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London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World

Throughout its vast and riveting history, London played a critical role in shaping many of the most important political, social, cultural, and economic institutions and systems that you live with today.
London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 123.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from almost makes the brits interesting excellent history of London, with many side matters addressed. Enlightening & interesting. learned much.
Date published: 2023-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent An engaging lecturer, a wonderful tour through history. Two tiny quibbles: 1. the title, "the Greatest City..." there are many denizens of other cities that would contest this claim. 2. The lecture on "Dickensian London" presumes that we all hold an impression that Dickensian times were all warm and lovely. Quite the contrary. Among people I know, we have always used the term "Dickensian" to denote an awful, polluted, terrible time or place
Date published: 2023-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Both Subject and Presentation Great I just finished the 24th and final lecture and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. As a college history professor I found the material presented factually accurate and fascinating Professor Bucholz is both entertaining and on top of his subject with more than enough visual material to keep those who might find lecturing too difficult. Professor Bucholz seemed more than able to handle the history of London from pre Roman times to the present and his affection for the subject comes through.
Date published: 2022-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good presentation by a knowledgeable scholar. I own the series on CD, but I have no way to transfer it to my iPhone, so I bought the digital series. This is my 4th time through the series. One of my favorite Great Course/Teaching Company series!
Date published: 2022-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Outstanding! This is my 3rd course taught by Prof. Bucholz and it is an amazing journey thru the history of one of the worlds greatest cities. True to form as w/ his other courses he draws you in and makes you feel that you are witnessing the historical events as they unfold. I only wish I had taken this courses prior to my trip to London 3 years ago.
Date published: 2022-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Dr. Bucholz This is the second course by Dr. Bucholz that I have purchased, the first being "History of England from Tudors to Stuarts." Dr. Bucholz brings enthusiasm, great presentation to a fascinating subject.
Date published: 2022-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made me want to hop on a plane! I listened to this course right in the middle of the pandemic - which was good and bad, because it made me want to jump on a plane and go see London. Dr. Bucholz brings London to life through one era after another, covering the major events of the time period. Because it's so comprehensive, it often can't be too detailed - so think of it as a jumping off point. This is a great course, and I recommend it to London-while and history-philes - but be ready to get a travel bug right away!
Date published: 2022-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Trip Bucholz is wonderful narrator as proven in is History of Western Civilization II course. He obviously loves his subject, is easy to follow and he has a sense of humor that doesn't make me cringe. And in this course, he even sings! What more could you ask? Following history from the viewpoint of one single very important city was a wonderful idea - you didn't have to worry about what the Germans or Americans were thinking or doing, for one thing. But this course is a Bucholz tour de force and one of the most enjoyable of the many Great Courses I've had
Date published: 2021-12-27
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Overview

Examine epic chapters in British and world history through the lens of this amazing capital. Every lecture explores how these definitive historical moments affected the evolution of the city and the lives of both iconic and everyday Londoners.

About

Robert Bucholz

This course is much more than a way to pass the time. It is, rather, a toolkit for any citizen of the West, a survival kit for any citizen of the world.

INSTITUTION

Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Robert Bucholz is Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago, where he has taught since 1988. He earned his B.A. in History from Cornell University and his D.Phil. in Modern History from Oxford University. Before joining the faculty at Loyola University, Professor Bucholz taught at numerous universities, including Cornell University; California State University, Long Beach; and Loyola, Marymount University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Among Professor Bucholz's numerous teaching awards are the Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence, the highest such award presented by the Loyola College of Arts and Sciences. On two occasions, he received the Honors Program Faculty Member of the Year Award. At Loyola University, Professor Bucholz teaches courses on Early Modern London, Early Modern England, and English Social History. He is the author or coauthor of books on English history, including Early Modern England: A Narrative History and The Augustan Court: Queen Anne and the Decline of Court Culture. Professor Bucholz is also the project director of the Database of Court Officers, which contains the career facts of every person who served in the British royal household from the Restoration to the death of Queen Victoria.

By This Professor

A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts
854
Foundations of Western Civilization II: A History of the Modern Western World
854
There's No Place like London

01: There's No Place like London

This introductory lecture gives you a brief overview of London, introduces you to several overarching themes—including London's growth, diversity, and resilience—and shows you why this magnificent metropolis is the greatest city in the Western world.

32 min
The Rise and Fall of Roman Londinium

02: The Rise and Fall of Roman Londinium

Explore the early centuries of London's history, from its foundation in 60 C.E. as Londinium—the largest Roman settlement in Britain—to its eventual decline and abandonment at the end of the 4th century C.E. after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

30 min
Medieval London's Thousand-Year Climb

03: Medieval London's Thousand-Year Climb

How did London revive itself and come to play a prominent part in early British history? Discover the important roles played by the Christian church, Viking scourges, leaders such as Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror, and the Magna Carta.

30 min
Economic Life in Chaucer's London

04: Economic Life in Chaucer's London

Walk the streets of medieval London as it was lived and experienced by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. This intimate historical tour includes looks at places such as the Tower of London, the London docks, the markets on East Cheap, and the shops and taverns of Cheapside.

30 min
Politics and Religion in Chaucer's London

05: Politics and Religion in Chaucer's London

Continue touring 14th-century London by heading west and exploring the importance of London's Guildhall (City Hall), the magnificence of old St. Paul's Cathedral (as well as its churchyard), the excitement of the Strand, and the splendor of Westminster Abbey.

30 min
London Embraces the Early Tudors

06: London Embraces the Early Tudors

Investigate the impact of the Tudor dynasty on the lives of Londoners, with pointed looks at the reigns of Henry VII, Henry VIII, and Mary I. Also, study how London dealt with the religious turmoil brought about by the Protestant Reformation.

31 min
Elizabeth I and London as a Stage

07: Elizabeth I and London as a Stage

Delve into the impact of Queen Elizabeth's reign on London between 1558 and 1603. Highly popular among Londoners, Queen Elizabeth used the city as a stage on which to display the rich pageantry of the Tudor monarchy.

30 min
Life in Shakespeare's London—East

08: Life in Shakespeare's London—East

Get an in-depth look at London through the eyes of William Shakespeare, who stands in for the typical late 16th-century immigrant to the city. Tour London's East End (the traditional arrival point for immigrants), the bustle of the Royal Exchange, Bridewell Prison, and London's four great law schools.

30 min
Life in Shakespeare's London—West

09: Life in Shakespeare's London—West

As your tour of Shakespearean London continues, gain insights into vibrant parts of the city, including St. James's Park, Westminster Hall, and London Bridge. Also, explore the experience of attending a play at the Rose Theatre—which reveals much about theatergoing habits during this period in London's history.

30 min
London Rejects the Early Stuarts

10: London Rejects the Early Stuarts

Explore London life between 1603 and 1660, focusing on the effects of the city's population growth on its economic system, the rise of crime in its streets, the fervent struggles between Protestants and Catholics, and the breakdown of royal authority that resulted in the English civil war.

31 min
Life in Samuel Pepys's 17th-Century London

11: Life in Samuel Pepys's 17th-Century London

The rise of two new watering holes in London (the coffee house and the club); the spectacle and excitement of the court scene at Whitehall; the amusements of the 17th-century pleasure garden—encounter these and other aspects of Restoration London through the detailed diary entries of Samuel Pepys.

31 min
Plague and Fire

12: Plague and Fire

Samuel Pepys's diary entries also provide you with an intimate window into the two great disasters that wracked London in the mid-1660s: the Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666. Both of these events, you learn, had an unimaginable impact on the everyday lives of Londoners.

30 min
London Rises Again—As an Imperial Capital

13: London Rises Again—As an Imperial Capital

In the last decades of the 17th century, London grew into the capital of a world empire. Follow London's reconstruction and discover how a series of nationwide political, commercial, and economic changes—including the Glorious Revolution—irrevocably transformed the city.

31 min
Johnson's London—All That Life Can Afford

14: Johnson's London—All That Life Can Afford

What was life like in 18th-century London? Use author Samuel Johnson as a lens through which to view the city's growing newspaper business, its chophouses and ale-houses, the decline of court culture, and the rise of public patronage for the arts.

30 min
The Underside of 18th-Century London

15: The Underside of 18th-Century London

Eighteenth-century London, you find, was also rampant with poverty and crime. Investigate the underbelly of Samuel Johnson's London: a world of sex workers, abandoned children, and murderers. Then, see how the city combated these social ills through public institutions (including the Foundling Hospital) and popular public hangings.

31 min
London Confronts Its Problems

16: London Confronts Its Problems

Focus on the many ways that London solved the problems that had overwhelmed it, including building bridges to alleviate increased horse-drawn traffic, developing an intricate sewage system to combat water pollution, and reforming the law enforcement system to better handle the city's wave of riots.

31 min
Life in Dickens's London

17: Life in Dickens's London

Track the city's transition into the Victorian era through the novels and personal impressions of Charles Dickens. See how previously covered territory—including Fleet Street, Westminster Palace, and Covent Garden—has evolved, and explore Bloomsbury, home to both Dickens and the extraordinary collections of the British Museum and the British Library.

30 min
Two Windows into Victorian London

18: Two Windows into Victorian London

Victorian London was a city of contrasts. See this reflected in two major events that defined the city: Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee of 1887, which revived the popularity of the monarchy, and the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888, which reveal much about the period's social and cultural atmosphere.

30 min
Questions Postponed and the Great War

19: Questions Postponed and the Great War

Explore the women's suffrage movement and the global crisis of World War I as windows into London life in the early 20th century. Chart these two defining moments in British history through the eyewitness accounts of journalists, writers, and everyday Londoners.

31 min
London's Interwar Expansion and Diversions

20: London's Interwar Expansion and Diversions

Postwar London struggled with economic trauma, a national strike, and a sharp increase in unemployment. Yet this period, you discover, also saw the modernization of the city's transportation system and architecture, a shift in social norms, and new forms of popular entertainment.

30 min
The Blitz—The Greatest Target in the World

21: The Blitz—The Greatest Target in the World

Between September 1940 and May 1941, London came under frequent air attack by Nazi Germany—an event known as "the Blitz." Experience this critical episode of World War II through the accounts of the Londoners who endured it and see how—as always—the city persevered through uncertain times.

30 min
Postwar London Returns to Life

22: Postwar London Returns to Life

Find out how postwar Londoners faced the bleakness of a troubled economy and the environmental disaster of 1952's Big Smoke. Then, see how the dire situation turned around with increased economic prosperity, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and an influx of immigrants who diversified London life and culture.

30 min
The Varied Winds of Change

23: The Varied Winds of Change

Survey the waves of change that washed over London, from the "Swinging Sixties"—with its revolutions in theater, music, and fashion and its nuclear disarmament protests—to the 1980s and the election of a Conservative government under British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

31 min
Millennial London—How Do You Like It?

24: Millennial London—How Do You Like It?

Conclude the course with a journey through contemporary London and a look at some events that have defined the city in recent years and testify to its powerful and enduring spirit: Princess Diana's death, the unification of the city government under the Greater London Authority, and the 2005 terrorist bombings.

33 min

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