Posted by: offmotorway | July 15, 2010

A London Reading List

Whether you’re thinking of visiting London this summer, or getting out of London for a break, there’s no better time to catch up on your reading and hopefully find out a few things or places you didn’t know. This list includes several from my personal wish list.

secret londonSecret London by Andrew Duncan

Fascinating facts about London above and below ground.  Discovering parts of London unseen even by long-time Londoners, with suggestions for walks which help you take it all in.

among the bohemiansAmong the Bohemians by Virginia Nicholson

 Virginia Nicholson is the granddaughter of Vanessa Bell and so is well-placed to write this history of a group of artists living in the first half of the 20th century.  She concentrates on the small details to create a vivid account of the lives of artists like Dylan Thomas, Katherine Mansfield, Ottoline Morrell, Robert Graves, Lytton Strachey, Eric Gill, Augustus John.

bad penny bluesBad Penny Blues by Cathi Unsworth

Crime novel set in sixties Soho, atmospheric and evocative of the era.  Based on the real-life ‘Jack the Stripper’ murders.

towards the end of the morningTowards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn

I loved Frayn’s ‘Headlong’ and this comic novel set in Fleet Street promises to be another classic farce.  The world described here is long gone, but the characters remain as recognisable as ever.

lost londonLost London by Philip Davies

500 unseen photographs of London, taken between 1875 and 1945, from the Archives of English Heritage. This unique archive shows Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian London before the major 20th century redevolopment. Philip Davies from English Heritage supplies the text.

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