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The London Nobody Knows [Kindle Edition]

Geoffrey Fletcher , Dan Cruickshank
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description

Product Description

Geoffrey Fletcher's London was not the big landmarks, but rather 'the tawdry, extravagant and eccentric'. He wrote about parts of the city no-one ever had before. This could be an art nouveau pub, a Victorian music hall, a Hawksmoor church or even a public toilet in Holborn in which the attendant kept goldfish in the cisterns. He was drawn to the corners of the city where 'the kids swarm like ants and there are dogs everywhere'. This classic book was originally published in 1962 and has been in and out of print ever since. In 1967 it was turned into an acclaimed documentary film starring James Mason. Following a series of sold out screenings at the Barbican and the ICA, the film was re-released on DVD in 2008. This book is a must-have for anyone with an interest in London, and will surprise even those who think they know it well.


A survey of the architectural changes that have taken place in London over the years in the name of progress.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2716 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (31 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078XHB9K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,878 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Richard Newbold TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This idiosyncratic guidebook describes the "underbelly" of London as it appeared in 1962, just as it was about to be swept away by the never had it so good and swinging sixties boom (in themselves supplanted by seventies decline, yuppification, boom and bust, and lately 2012!). The book spawned a film drama-documentary narrated by a sardonic James Mason, and still after 50 years has an enthusiastic following. Broadcaster Dan Cruickshank writes a foreward to the latest edition, and has made a radio series under the same title. There's even a superb Flickr site with photographs of surviving buildings.

The book is perfect for ambles around places like Islington and Whitechapel, spotting the little that still remains and what has replaced it. The book has a perfect reminiscence of the Jewish East End, and with the author's accompanying pencil sketches, a mind-boggling chapter - almost a mini Which Guide on the outdoor and underground urinals of London - starting with the sentence "I have always been a keen connoisseur of Victorian lavatories... ". Fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost twice over 9 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating book set in the era when the developers and planners set about destroying the heart of historical London. Not all of the changes they made were bad but there was a sense of loss even then of something of the character of the place. Fletcher, with his artists eye and breathy prose sets about documenting the hidden parts of London's character even as they are being concreted over. So we get to travel the streets of London and to not see what Fletcher saw as so very little remains and the most poignant part of the book is Dan Cruickshanks introduction decrying this very thing. Fletcher waxes lyrical over some parts of London that actually benefited from development and some things he found lovely were odd. His love for Kensal Green cemetery for instance while ignoring Nunhead, Highgate etc. was odd as I found Kensal Green to be the least interesting of the five major Victorian era cemeteries.

This is a good book to read if you want a "before" picture of the effects of the fifties and sixties development boom which was not always good. However much of it is now irrelevant and only Fletchers pictures and contemporary photos can show what was lost. My only hope is that this book does highlight the damage that development can do, even while we reap the benefits. We should not lose the character of our environments to greed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 1 April 2013
By alice
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't feel, bored at all reading this book, but you have to like architecture or I suppose it could seem a bit tedious, as it happens I like both London history and architecture, the book gave a good impression on me and I never put it down once till I had read it full of interesting information
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The London Nobody Knows 27 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I am mildly technophobic it was difficult for me to manipulate the images so that I could see them better on my Kindle. This, however, was the only disadvantage to this book. I have to applaud the author for his knowledge and diligence, seeking out as he did the little gems of historical significance in the London architectural landscape. They do say that one never really sees something until one has tried to draw it, and the beautifully observed illustrations helped the reader to do this by proxy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great 15 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sadly much had gone but worth trying to what remains and perhaps some other gems on the way
Some of replacements from the 70s are now being destroyed so we may see some surprises, Dock lands has been completely changed but in the process some buildings have reappeared and perhaps more access after the Olympics may throw up some surprises!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars london nobody knows 5 Jun. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
post delivery on time. an exciting little book. there are parts of london even I didn't know about. keep up the good work can recommend you to everyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a very good and interesting book to read 28 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting to read,it lets you find out about the parts of london that we all miss
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4.0 out of 5 stars a very diffrent london 22 Feb. 2013
By tizwas
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this little book tells you about a forgotten london that is still their in places . and shows you places that you diddent know exsisted a very good read for londoners and peaple who like diverse history
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An unexpected treat and wealth of information.
Published 3 days ago by BKan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great little book for those who love London
Published 1 month ago by Moonraker Maid
5.0 out of 5 stars Great narrative.
Geoffrey Fletcher certainly had a way of his own in describing the man in the street in 1963 London and his drawings are most original. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tony Finch
5.0 out of 5 stars good print and illustrations
Well presented, good print and illustrations. Fascinating background information. Really made one want to visit the sites and see it for oneself. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Bugden
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
A very interesting book about old London
Published 5 months ago by Mr. A. E. Blower
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this book on the back of remembering the wonderful film with...
Bought this book on the back of remembering the wonderful film with James Mason. I remember parts of London as described in both book and film.
Published 6 months ago by ian rutherford
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent Book, Well researched very informative
Published 6 months ago by robinwatson44
5.0 out of 5 stars What a pity
Unfortunately I am to young 69 to remember much of this though I do remember Shad Thames & Leadenhall Market and a few others places ,I plied my trade round London for a good... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Tonybennett
5.0 out of 5 stars The London Nobody Knows
It was most interesting to read having moved to London just over a year ago I can explore the places.
Published 17 months ago by Thomas Lyall
5.0 out of 5 stars Another super buy
Great item and a view into the past, this was a present for my Mother and she loved it along with Look at life 1960s
Published 19 months ago by Philip Willis
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