Books

SOLDIERS AND SPORTSMEN ALL

Paperback copies of my latest book, “Soldiers and Sportsmen All – The Great War Story Of The 24th Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers”  may be ordered directly from me. Price  £8.99 per copy, inclusive of Postage & Packing.  Payment  by bank transfer or cheque  only.  Delivery to UK only.  For further details, or to place an order, please contact me by  e-mailing lostcityoflondon@sky.com, or snail-mailing Robert Wynn Jones, 65 Avalon Road, Ealing, London W13 0BB.  

Print-on-demand paperback copies are also available through Amazon, as is an e-book version  (link attached).  Price of paperback £8.99, exclusive of Postage & Packing; price of e-book £4.99,

Cover Blurb

Contained within is the Great War story of the 24th (2nd  Sportsmen’s) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (The City of London Regiment). The Battalion served on the Western Front  for over three years, fighting in the Battles of the Somme  in 1916, in  the Battles  of Arras and Cambrai in 1917, and finally in the   First and Second Battles of the Somme, 1918, the   Battles of the Hindenburg Line, and the Final Advance in Picardy, in 1918.  It suffered just over eighteen hundred  casualties over the course of the war, including just under  six hundred fatalities.  Even those   who  survived the war  are also  now  long-dead; the war  itself, no longer  living memory but   history.

The story is  one of  ordinary  men, of diverse origins, living and dying in the midst of an extraordinary time in  history.   It   is told from the viewpoint of an ordinary  soldier in a trench somewhere in France.  It features  photographic images and/or at least brief biographical sketches  of a sample of over two hundred   such men   from the 24th Battalion.   

One of the men who served in the 24th Battalion in the Great War was  Private Charles Reuben Clements from Hammersmith in what was then Middlesex and is now London, a former shop assistant – and my maternal grandfather.

Reviews

***** “Superbly researched.  A magnificent piece of research which follows the triumphs and tragedies of the battalion through the Great War. I particularly liked the many brief bios of so many of the soldiers, both fallen and survivors … . It shows just how widespread the impact of the war was, across all parts of the country, and empire as was, and all social classes. Highly recommended” – M.G.

“[G]enius, this book is fantastic, amazing depth of research giving such a rich picture of why things eventuated as they did and such amazing personal details that are so well picked and placed to really bring it to life … ” – C.M., Australia

***** “Unmissable read.  A wonderful personal account, magnificently researched and beautifully written, of a period of our history we must never forget. A superb book” – A.T.

“[S]plendid … book, ripping yarns!  A very readable mix of unit and family” – S.P.

“Superb. … .  Well worth the purchase I can assure you”. – T.W

“Awesome” – J.T.

“Great” – M.W.

***** – Anon., Amazon

THE FLOWER OF ALL CITIES

Front Cover (0) - Copy

My second book on the history of London, “The Lost City of London“, was published by Amberley in 2019.

Cover Blurb

Contained within is the history of London up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666.  A   story of settlement, struggle, conquest, oppression, rebellion, war, plague and purifying fire.  A story of Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts.  Of kings and queens and gentlefolk and commoners, of knights and monks and merchant-adventurers and strutting players; of the anointed and ill-fated, the remembered and the forgotten.  Of Fortunata, Alfred, Thomas Becket, William Longbeard, Wat Tyler, Dick Whittington, John Crosby, John Blanke, John Houghton, Thomas Cromwell, Anne Askew, Guy Fawkes, John Smith, Hugh Myddelton, John Hampden and Nathaniel Hodges.  And of  William FitzStephen, Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas More, John Stow, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare,  John Donne, Ben Jonson, Inigo Jones, Thomas Middleton, John Milton, Christopher  Wren, John Evelyn, Samuel Pepys and Aphra Behn.  Of “great matter” and “great reckoning”.

Preface

A large part of London, and almost all of the old walled City that lay at its heart, was burned down over the space of a few  short days during the Great Fire of September 2nd-6th, 1666.  This book  attempts as it were to unearth  from the ashes at least something of the already age-old and burnished City that had gone before.  The City founded by the Romans in the middle of the first century AD, on  the damp maritime frontier of their vast continental empire, and named by them Londinium.  The City abandoned by the Romans at the beginning of what some still think of as “Dark Ages” of the sea-borne Saxons and Vikings, and known by the former in turn as Lundenwic and Lundenburg.  And the City of the – later – Middle Ages or Medieval period, and the post-Medieval or early Modern, one of the first true world-cities, called by some Londinopolis.  A City of bustling waterfronts and imposing walls, of praying  spires and vying masts, of consuming chimneys and seducing streets, of plunging shadow and abiding light.  That which  the poet William  Dunbar in 1501 described as “sovereign of Cities” and “the flower of Cities all”.

Reviews

“Dr Robert Wynn Jones has a … focussed enthusiasm.  He wrote The Flower of All Cities: The History of London from Earliest Times to the Great Fire … as a result of his pursuit of his ancestor, John West, who had lived near the Stocks Market at the time of the Great Fire … .  … [The book  is] … well illustrated with unusual as well as familiar images and photographs, and [has a] decent index.  … [It also] has four appendixes providing detailed London walks for different periods … [as well as] … further reading and bibliographies … .  … Wynn Jones … had written a book to be used … : it is full of lists, lengthy quotations from contemporary sources and a great deal of hard information.   …  [I]f the … [reader] … is already an enthusiast  for London then he or she will enjoy browsing through The Flower of All Cities to unearth unexpected insights into the pre-Fire”.  – London Topographical Society Newsletter.

***** “[E]ssential reading for anyone remotely interested in the history of our great city”.  – A.T.

“[A]  brilliant read – and so many illustrations.  … [A] beautifully produced volume”.  – P.F.

“All in all an enjoyable read and very thoroughly researched”. – T.R.

“[E]xtremely well-researched … “.  – E.R.

“[E]xcellent … “.  – N.H.

THE LOST CITY OF LONDON

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My first book on the history of London, “The Lost City of London“, was published by Amberley in 2012 (and a  revised and updated second edition in 2015).

Publishers’ Blurb

In 1666 London was devastated by the Great Fire … . Bob Jones has set out to discover the original structures and streets that survived … and can still be seen today. This book maps, describes and illustrates what remains of the City of the Black Death, the Peasants’ Revolt, the Reformation, the Civil War, and the Great Plague; the City of Chaucer and Shakespeare and Pepys. Discover the Roman ruins buried beneath Cannon Street Station, the seven parish churches that survived the blaze, the drinking establishments still open for business, and much more …

Preface

At first glance, one might think that not much remains today of the anatomy  of the City of London from before the time of the Great Fire, which according to contemporary accounts and maps destroyed 80% of the City, including around 13000 private residences and places of business within and immediately without the walls, 85 parish churches and St Paul’s Cathedral, 45 Livery Company Halls, Castle Baynard, the Custom House, the Guildhall, the Royal Exchange, and the Royal Wardrobe.

But dig a little deeper, literally or metaphorically, and it is still possible to uncover hidden treasures from that ancient time.  Dab away at the accumulated tarnish of the centuries, and it is  still possible once more to bring to light an ancient masterpiece.

That is what this is all about.  Re-establishing the ancient City limits and street plans from surviving structures and streets, maps and  historical records, and archaeological finds.  And recreating the ancient lives,  sights, sounds and smells of those  streets in the City of one’s imagining.

It is a story of settlement, struggle, conquest, oppression, rebellion, war, plague and fire.  And above all of survival.

Reviews

“The Lost City of London in the title of thus book is loosely defined as the current City, together with … ‘some areas that lie a little outside the original walls’. Its author’s objective is ‘to discover the original structures and streets that survived the Great Fire and can still be seen today’, and his book describes what remains of the city of the Black Death, the Peasants’ Revolt, Shakespeare and Pepys.  He starts with six maps showing parts of the present-day street plan; lists of many of the buildings and sites mentioned later in the book help the reader to find them on the maps.  Approximately the first third of The Lost City of London takes the reader on a journey through time, starting with the bedrock that supports all of the structures of London. It shows the initial impact of the first people to establish settlements in the area, describes the establishment of Londinium by the Romans, mentions the relatively brief Anglo-Saxon occupation of the walled city, and relates how London was changed during the medieval period and beyond. The Great Fire – and Christopher Wren’s reconstruction plan – brings the reader’s journey to a close. This section is well-written, and gives a thoroughly-referenced overview of the ways in which London has been subjected to seemingly endless alterations brought about by the needs and cultures of a constantly changing population.  The second part of The Lost City is a comprehensive and readable gazetteer of the city’s historic structures, streets and districts. Readers can go straight to an entry that interests them, or can enjoy a satisfying browse.  The drawings and photographs give extra value to the text of a volume that many will want to carry in a rucksack as they walk the streets of the City is search of the capital’s past”. – London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Newsletter.

“It takes a micropalaeontologist with an eye for detail and a proclivity for perpetuating pensive penmanship to uncover the fossilised fragments of an ancient city … and record them for posterity. … I highly recommend buying a copy or two of this book (it’s a great read, and it makes a great gift)”. – M.K.

***** “I bought this book after a tour through medieval London with the author. It is a great book to get prepared for a city walk on your own or as a saver of memories after you visited. A great and profound reference book”.  F.K.

***** “Very useful addition to my library – already have many other books on the City of London and found a niche not covered by others”.  – M.J“I thoroughly enjoyed [The Lost City of London]”.  – K.D.

“Gem of a … book”.  S.P.

” [C]oncise and erudite … “. – PostScript.

“Cracking read … “.  – A.T.