Written by Alfred Harvey, M.B., Bristol: A Historical and Topographical Account of the City was first published in London in 1906, containing some 300 printed pages it includes more than forty pen and ink drawings by E. H. New. Harvey's history of Bristol is less a chronological account of the city and more a thematic account of the some of the city's history and better-known institutions. The history is introduced by an account of the early origins of the city, both Celt and Dane, before quickly moving onto the history of the City during the reigns of the Norman and Plantagenet Kings from. Harvey provides and interesting account of the City as witnessed by the Normans, which was then ranked as one of the largest and most important in the kingdom, and accounts for the chief historical events that beset the city between the reigns of William I and Edward III, which include the granting of the Charter to freemen of the City by King John, the disastrous reign of King Stephen and the plague years of the fourteenth century. The Plantagenet history of Bristol is followed by a description of the City from the fourteen to the fifteenth century, a period that witnessed Bristol ranked as the second most important city in the kingdom next to London and a port that was easily the most pre-eminent in the country. The Chapter entitled 'Bristol under later sovereigns' details opens with the reigns of the early Stuart monarchs and the growing favour of trade from London rather than Bristol. Indeed, throughout Harvey's history of Bristol it is the mercantile question that dominates than than the politics of Kings and with the Coronation of Charles II the rejuvenation of Bristol is witnessed through its near-monopoly of trade with the West Indies and the vast wealth that this generated for the city. Aparty from this almost chronological account of Bristol from the early middle gaes down to the reigns of the later Stuart Kings, Harvey also presebts the history of Bristol through the eyes of some of its best known edifices, which includes the abbey and other monsatic and collegiate establishments and the city's parish churches. However, religion aside, Harvey returns time and again to trade as the lifeblood of the city and the root of its foundation and presnts a further chapter on the city's muncipal institutions before presenting the reader with a description of some of the better known amusements, streets, houses and resindets of the city. The History of Bristol is concluded by a walking itinerary of the city providing a good description of Bristol as it was more than a century ago. Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, Harvey's History of Bristol with its many attendant sketches, must appeal to anyone interested in the history, culture and commerce of the City of Bristol spanning more than 2,000 years.
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