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Lost London, 1870-1945 [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Philip Davies
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 39.95
Price: 24.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2009
More than 500 spectacular 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. Athoritative text by Philip Davies from English Heritage.

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Lost London, 1870-1945 + Dickens's Victorian London: The Museum of London
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Transatlantic Press; First Edition edition (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955794986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955794988
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 24.8 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This endlessly absorbing book that is at once a record of destruction, a haunting collection of relics and a door into the past. --John Carey - The Sunday Times

An extraordinary and sometimes upsetting record of the capital s architectural richness. Stuffed with beautiful images ... this satisfyingly heavy book depicts a grimy, muddy city with spots of aristocratic grandeur, a city on the verge of transformation. --Edwin Heathcote - Financial Times

An extraordinary and sometimes upsetting record of the capital s architectural richness. --Philippa Stockley - Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Philip Davies is English Heritage s Planning and Development Director for London and South-East England.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
99 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb evocation of London's lost heritage 10 April 2010
Despite Philip Davies's claim in his wonderful introduction to this sumptuous book that we should not mourn too deeply for some of the lost buildings and streets of London - they were unarguably homes to grinding poverty and nascent social breakdown - it is hard not to feel horrified by the sheer scale of loss and wanton destruction. What comes out strongly is that despite the efforts of the Luftwaffe, much of the loss was self-inflicted long before the German bombers took to the skies. Ruthless Victorian and Edwardian developers and planners swept away vast tracts of London's Georgian, Shakespearean and medieval heritage in the cause of improved transport connections and a desire to replace the ordered elegance of Regency terraces with statement-making stone edifices more in keeping with Britain's new imperial status. Buildings that escaped the Great Fire and the Blitz succumbed ultimately to the joint wills of commerce and progress.

Modest though some of the lost buildings clearly were, they represented a link to a historical past that has now entirely disappeared in some areas. Their human scale guaranteed them no protection whatsoever in the days before planning controls, but larger public buildings were also swept away with an insouciance almost unthinkable today.

This is a superb book, filled with beautifully reproduced black and white photographs of a capital city that looks hauntingly familiar, but that most of us have never seen. Endlessly informative and fascinating both visually and textually, it offers a profoundly moving evocation of a lost age. Many of the photographs were taken as a last record of buildings already condemned to die. Others are in traffic-free streets bustling with humanity.
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130 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW VIEW OF OLD LONDON 14 Nov 2009
Finally, a book of old photographs that we (mostly) haven't seen before.

This is a splendid publication, beautifully produced, with an intelligent and informative text, crammed full of pictures that speak volumes to lovers of London and its vanished past. It's the forerunner and companion to the same author's later and physically larger work 'Panoramas of lost London' - which has taken some of the same material (though by no means all of it) and given it a different treatment.

'Lost London' is a good and hefty volume, well worth having - and the price tag (especially if you order from Amazon) is fantastic value.

Be warned - the book is heavy, so likely to bust any mailbag, shopping bag - or Christmas stocking!
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous photographic history of London 12 Dec 2009
A fabulous and generous book of wonderful photographs of a London that has been lost in time due to neglect, crass planning desisions or wartime bombs.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in history, photography or London. a great coffee table gift that will be much admired.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic interesting book 15 Dec 2009
By Sandy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my husband, who has been totally absorbed reading it. The photography is fabulous. He is still reading through it. Fantastic value for money.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step back in time 29 May 2010
There are lots of London photograph books around, then there is Lost London.

The photographic reproduction is art house quality with pin sharp images filling the A4 sized pages the majority of which are early 1900s with some stretching back into the 1800s. The captions are short, informative and too the point with a 30 page introduction. The images cover the whole capital although there are inevitably more pictures of central London, but I guess that must reflect the available material.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure Regained 9 Nov 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My husband, on receiving this book as a gift was overjoyed. For someone who was born and brought up in London after the second world war it was like rediscovering a world he had lost. It is proving to be an absolute delight. This is not a book to flick through. It requires time and attention. The images alone tell amazing stories. For anyone who knows and loves London, this book is a 'must'.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous 4 Jun 2010
An unusual and excellent photographic history of London's past history, with detailed text annoations. Well worth the price for what it is. Very, very highly recommended!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book and great value 22 Mar 2010
By SueBee
This is a fantastic book with marvellous photos of a lost time. The poverty back in the past was horrible, no Social Services then! And it's very good value when you think what you pay for a paperback. The text is interesting and not difficult for simple mortals with no architectural or historical training.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Photographs and Excellent Succinct Text
This is a wonderful collection of old photographs of all parts of a lost London accompanied by an excellent and succinct text. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Dr. R. Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
i have 3 family members waiting to read this book. it is amazing to see the brilliant photo's and just how muchLondon has changed,
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. D. Fletcher
1.0 out of 5 stars Evocative book that is well worth a look!
An eclectic selection of photographs that document a London that is long gone! Highly recommended for everyone, not just those with an interest in the history of our capital city.
Published 1 month ago by Sue Badger
5.0 out of 5 stars RRP is ONLY 5.99 SO DON'T PAY MORE!
Only writing to let people know that if you could see the back cover of this book it says RRP 5.99!!!! Not ridiculous rip off prices most are chargeing here on Amazon!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elvira
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
Bought as a xmas present for friends, lovely book and some great photos, leave it on the coffee table and your friends won't be able to put it down (actually some of them won't be... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mike Spence
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book.
This book is wonderful. Amazing photos for anyone with an interest in historical London. It's a book to pick up and browse through and enjoy anytime.
Published 3 months ago by C-Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars My view
This is a lovely book. I got it for my husband for Christmas and he is delighted with it, not put it down and reading at every opportunity. Lots of pictures and a good write up. Read more
Published 3 months ago by JAJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic.
This book is terrific. The photographs are so impressive that you feel you are really there. I recommend this to everyone.
Published 5 months ago by pen name
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
My parents bought this for my husband for a birthday present. He's a surveyor and really interested in older properties. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Debbie71
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
This book is a wonderful collection of the most fascinating old photos showing what London was like before the landscape was changed by war & developement.
Published 13 months ago by Barbara Myatt
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