When the London Olympics open on July 27, more than 1 billion people around the world will be watching. The city has sunk more than an estimated $14.5 billion into the Games, including the creation of a massive sports complex on the city’s eastern fringes. With more than 380,000 international visitors are expected to turn up for the show, including more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries, and with gold up for grabs in 288 events, the whole world will have its eyes on London this summer.
Before the games begin, brush up on your British history with Chronicles of Old London: Exploring England’s Historic Capital. Lifelong Londoner Kevin Jackson (who’s such an expert he even consulted on this year’s Olympic medals!) takes you through 2,000 years of London history through 30 dramatic true stores featuring such influential (and infamous) residents as Richard the Lionheart, Anne Boleyn, Charles Dickens, Jack the Ripper, Winston Churchill, The Beatles, the modern monarch and many, many more. Full of intrigue, drama and scandal, these stories will give you a deeper understanding of London culture and history just in time for the games—and there’s enough fascinating trivia to make you the star at your viewing party!
image: London 2012