In this dream I was coming up out of the London tube. I was in a rush, under a gray rain. I was preparing myself for a new life, for a joyful freedom. And I had to fathom the dream’s mystery, after long investigations. I remember a double-decker bus, and a young (redheaded?) lady under an umbrella. On awakening I thought I was writing a novel that would be entitled The Great Fire of London, and that I had to preserve this dream, for as long as possible, intact. I note it down here for the first time. This was nineteen years ago.
—Jacques Roubaud: The Great Fire of London: A Story with
Interpolations and Bifurcations (1989)
Samuel Rolle: Shlohavot, or, The Burning of London in the Year 1666 (1667)