Flavell: When London Was Capital of America

This Sunday the New York Times Book Review featured an excellent review of Julie Flavell’s “When London Was Capital of America”, an historical appraisal of the cultural, political and economic significance of the city on the Thames in the early 18th century. As Flavell recounts, London in the decades before the American Revolution was seen as an essential and inimitable city of opportunity for all who lived in the colonies. “Wealthy Southern plantation owners and New England merchants, husbands
and wives, children and slaves all arrived in what was thought to be the
most exciting city in the world,” reviewer and author Andrea Wulf writes. London was a city of learning, a city of freedom, a city rich with history and political importance. Even in the heady days of the Revolution, Americans of all social types recognized the British capital as a place of international prestige. “Beautifully reimagining a city that was a distant but integral part of
American life,” Wulf concludes, “Flavell’s book is essential reading for anyone interested
in the colonial period.”

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