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Bright Lights, Big City [Hardcover]

Gavin Weightman


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Book Description

5 Nov 1992
Accompanying a London Weekend Television series, this book traces the history of popular entertainment in London from the end of the 19th century to the present day. From the Victorian pub with its brilliant gas lighting and enticing cut glass, through the creation of the music halls and variety shows, to the rise of "serious" West-End theatre and the glamour and glitz of the 1930s cinemas, it shows how tastes and styles have changed over the years. A wide range of illustrations - Naughty Nineties songsheets with tantalizing glimpses of a bare female ankle, billboards and theatre posters, photographs of the stars of stage and screen - is interspersed with contemporary accounts and reminiscences. Gavin Weightman is a former presenter of LWT's "The London Programme", and his other books include "London River".

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Collins & Brown; First Edition edition (5 Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855851318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855851313
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 22 x 1.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,316,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Downton Abbey fans take on the London entertainment district... 18 April 2013
By Catherine C. Payne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Enchanted with period pieces like Downton Abbey, focusing mostly on the everyday life of the swells, Gavin Weightman reveals the downtown of London's entertainment district night life, circa 1830-1950. What a grandly fascinating period! A documentarian, Mr. Weightman's six part series, either not offered in the U.S., or sadly missed by me, brings to the fore how the swells were entertained. Well, probably not the Lord Grantham kind of swells, as that would be too, too scandalous. Example: the back area of theaters often had "naughty" photos of actresses, a kind of peep show, breathing life as Mr. Weightman reminds us, into the stereotype that actresses were prostitutes. Reality check: ballet dancers were considered sexy. If you are interested in 19th and 20 century London entertainment, or in the lives of everyday London people, enjoying the nightlife, you most likely will enjoy this book. A bonus: artwork in the form of reproduced paintings, playbills, and drawings are just delightful.
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