Greenwich — to open this book is to enter a world of living history, of pomp and pageantry, royal fiats and popular revolutions, naval exploits and mercantile triumphs and soaring scientific achievement. ‘The whole civilized world has heard of Greenwich,’ says a character in Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent
. ‘The very boot-blacks in the basement of Charing Cross Station know something of it.’ Originating as a royal palace, it would acquire an immortal place in the history of Time. This book explains how it happened.