The New Jerusalem (Gilbert book)

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The New Jerusalem is a 2002 book by British author Adrian Gilbert. In this book Gilbert explores the forces involved in the rebuilding of London following the Great Fire of 1666. He shows that there was a secret tradition that the British are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel, an idea known as British Israelism, and that the capital city of Britain should therefore be re-modelled as a New Jerusalem for the coming Age of Enlightenment. Gilbert presents evidence showing that this belief has its origins from at least the 6th century AD. It became more popular at the time of Elizabeth I and spread in influence during the Stuart period. It reached its height of influence during and just after the First World War. Gilbert shows that though the full idea of rebuilding London as a New Jerusalem had to be abandoned for practical reasons, certain building, such as St Paul's Cathedral, contain elements of the plan in their design.