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Mapping London: Making Sense of the City [Hardcover]

Simon Foxell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2007
Mapping London: Making Sense of the City is a beautiful, compelling anthology of over six centuries of London maps. The book tells a different kind of history of the city, tracing the mesmerising evolution of the city through its cartography and exploring the hopes and fears of its inhabitants as history unfolds. The book is a cartographic journey, charting the influence of Roman city planning, Saxon feudalism, Medieval tumult, imperial hubris, contemporary town planning and more on this great metropolis. It includes over 200 maps, from literary imaginings and utopian prophecies to portrayals of London in contemporary computer games, comics and online. Mapping London is split into four sections, each beginning with a short introduction and beautifully illustrated by the maps themselves: London Change and Growth; Serving the City; Living in the City; and Imagining London. Including engaging and illuminating essays exploring the history of the maps and how they have been used for social, political and commercial purposes, Mapping London is a lavishly illustrated hardback book which explores the city through the ages in all its labyrinthine glory.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog Publishing; illustrated edition edition (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906155070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906155070
  • Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 24.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


''A mesmerising journey through the city.'' --The Telegraph

''Can be read for hours on end with pleasure [...] A virtual treasure trove in maps of the world's most interesting city.'' --The Architectural Review

''This beautifully illustrated book will have you spellbound.'' - Where London ''Lovingly researched and compiled by architect Simon Foxell [...] Mapping London is an important historical journey, a captivating portrait that details - from so many perspectives - the evolution of one of the most fascinating cities in the world.'' --Canadian Architect Magazine

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual treat 10 Jan 2008
This is a beautiful book, worthy of pride-of-place on your coffee table or your library shelf. If you're a "map person," you will relish hundreds of illustrations published between the covers. These generously-sized images give you a real opportunity to pore over the details on historical maps, and the accompanying text will teach you something new.
It is an ambitious undertaking to publish a book like this, and Simon Foxell has certainly done justice to his topic. From the famous (eg Hollar's Panorama) to the obscure, the maps are presented in full colour with extended captions. Foxell provides historical context and analyses the role of maps and the information they provide. Open the book to any page, and you'll find something to delight your eyes and tickle your brain.
A great gift for your favourite London-ophile (if that's even a word!).
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book 8 April 2009
The maps were beautifully reproduced and the text layout complimented the illustrations rather than swapmed them. Having read the book cover to cover I was slightly irritated by the number of typographical errors - given the high production values, someone could have made a better job of proof reading - but don't let that put you off.
I would have appreciated the inclusion of enlargements of selected areas of some of the maps as they would have been of benefit: showing entire maps on a single page didn't always make it possible to appreciate the level of detail within them.
However, this is a genuinely beautiful book and I thoroughly recommend it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really fabulous buy 10 May 2010
We bought this book because we are tracing our family tree and wanted to learn about the London our ancestors lived in. This book shows exactly how London grew and the conditions of the time. It's well laid out, though a magnifying glass is handy at times. A great buy!
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