March Books 15) Elizabeth's London, by Liza Picard
A book that ties in with two of my projects, Sir Nicholas White who was educated in London in the 1540s and died in the Tower in 1592, and of course Shakespeare. Picard has written several other books about London in different eras, but none the less makes her material here sound entirely fresh. There is a mass of detail on most aspects of London life, and I understand much better the role of institutions like the foreigners' churches and the city companies; plus I have more on my reading list for the moment when I crank my research on White up a gear. Unfortunately she doesn't say much on the two subjects I most wanted to read about: the court (though this does come up in discussion of clothes) and the Irish in London - I think I spotted precisely one mention, of an Irish woman who died and whose children were therefore supported by the parish. On the other hand she has plenty of entertaining asides, the majority of which are buried in the endnotes (yet another book which irritatingly does not have footnotes), including numerous reminiscences of Tanganyika in the 1950s, some of which are even relevant to Elizabethan London.