• RRP: £14.99
  • You Save: £3.00 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Spitalfields Life: In the... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by smeikalbooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Unread shelfworn copy may have creased spine, torn dust jacket etc. Fast shipping form our UK warehouse in eco-friendly packaging. Fast, efficient and friendly customer service.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Spitalfields Life: In the midst of life I woke to find myself living in an old house beside Brick Lane in the East End of London Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

20 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
£11.99
£6.88 £3.27
£11.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for your child's school by voting for their favourite book. Learn more.
  • Prepare for the summer with our pick of the best selection for children (ages 0 - 12) across Amazon.co.uk.

Frequently Bought Together

Spitalfields Life: In the midst of life I woke to find myself living in an old house beside Brick Lane in the East End of London + The Gentle Author's London Album + Spitalfields Nippers
Price For All Three: £51.98

Buy the selected items together


Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card and 30 Kindle E-readers for your child or pupil's school.
Vote for your child or pupil(s) favourite book(s) here to be in with a chance to win.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Saltyard Books; Reprint edition (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144470396X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444703962
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.9 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Little is known of the enigmatic gentle author but every reader knows the gentle author is their intimate confidante and friend who reveals the candid stories of the remarkable people to be found in Spitalfields

Product Description

Review

Sam Johnson would have said, "If you aren't reading Spitalfields Life, you are tired of life, " etc. It's wondrous. (Twitter @ Skdadl)

If someone created a local blogs award ceremony, Spitalfields Life would sweep the nominations list like the King's Speech. We'd certainly select it for best blog, best interviews and best (relative) newcomer. The format is simple, but done with panache. Every single day, the 'gentle author' tracks down a fascinating local character for an interview and photo shoot. Just in the past three days we've had a foam merchant, a man with 330-year-old wallpaper, and a selection of clowns at the annual Grimaldi service. Whatever next? (The Londonist)

Lovingly drawn portraits of remarkable, ordinary folk . . . a towering achievement . . . SPITALFIELDS LIFE is undoubtedly a significant work of social history (Guardian)

My London book of the year. . . A quite beautiful design from Saltyard Books. . . East End life tumbles from these pages in truly Chaucerian abundance. . . Each interviewee fits a piece into the magnificent mosaic. As a result of this painstaking work of listening, shaping and explaining, comments the Gentle Author, "the city has become a more human place for me". It will for every reader too (Independent)

Following in the footsteps of Dickens, Pepys and Orwell, the author blends history with interviews in a series of short pen portraits . . . An elegantly presented, generous and good-natured book, it offers an antidote to the sense of disconnection a big city such as London can engender. A city is its people and here they are celebrated in a way that will resonate beyond the East End (Financial Times Weekend)

For a unique insight into everyday life in the East End, let blogger The Gentle Author take you on a journey into Spitalfields' street life, art, markets, houses and culture . . . A treasure trove (Evening Standard ES magazine)

These wonderful stories shine anew in an attractive, beautifully illustrated book format. We can't recommend it highly enough (Londonist)

This fine collection includes many memorable episodes on the history and heritage of the area, and many colourful characters such as a rhyme collector, street artist, rapper, mudlark and a master bell founder (The Times)

For the brief time of reading, one steps into the skin of the subject, and inhabits them. Inherits them, perhaps. (Evening Standard)

SPITALFIELDS LIFE points you to London's hidden gems (Stylist)

Charming yarns and fascinating nuggets of local history . . . there's plenty to admire in this endearing, beautifully illustrated volume (Time Out)

A lovely book . . . A celebration of London life in all its unpredictable quirkiness, a paean to what the Gentle Author sees as Londoners' defining feature - their resourcefulness . . . They are given a fitting memorial in these eloquent pages (Times Literary Supplement)

Beguiling . . . follows in the tradition of Pepys or Dickens in its attention to the lively diversity of the city (The Lady)

A thing of sheer wonder, and I don't know where to start with all the things I love about it . . . By celebrating the extraordinary things that make this area special it must be hoped The Gentle Author will help protect them. And the sumptuous prose is accompanied by some stunning visuals. . . All in all it's a joy to hold, a joy to read and a joy to look at. (It's Nice That)

A joy to read, whether you know Spitalfields or not . . . It's not for nothing that the author's observational skills and ability to convey them to the reader have led some to liken them to Pepys and Dickens . . . Some places have a heart and a soul, a special something, and if it touches you it will grip you and hold you and captivate you. Spitalfields is such a place . . . An unusual book that's pure joy, a tribute to life (We Love This Book)

Every once in a while a book just takes my breath away. . . Spitalfields Life is evidence, were it needed, that though it is all there and free to read online, there is still something very special about the book in the hand, especially when it is a work of art in its own right (dovegreyreader.typepad.com)

The Gentle Author builds up a convincing picture of urban life below the radar of the urban sociologist . . . His accounts should be enjoyed (as they are intended to be) as relics of ordinary lives, demonstrating how the ordinary is so often extraordinary on close inspection (Spectator)

A whole piece of London is here, ghosts of Spitalfields' past haunting the vibrant present. It is unlike any other book. (Susan Hill, Spectator Books of the Year)

In an Olympic year awash with books about London, no work came close to the eccentric charm and warmth on offer in Spitalfields Life by the anonymous "Gentle Author". This deadpan blogger's encounters with East Enders old and new, now transformed into a sumptuous volume, built into an irresistible group portrait of modern metropolitans and their overlapping histories... rather like WG Sebald (Boyd Tonkin, The Independent)

Marvellous... each character glows with life, and the totality is a fascinating and multi-faceted portrait of this corner of London, which highlights both its continuities and its constant evolution (Independent on Sunday 2013-06-16)

East End life tumbles from these cornucopian pages (Independent 2013-06-15)

Book Description

A wonderful collection of authentic, colourful stories of life in the heart of London's East End, selected from the popular blog Spitalfields Life.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lewis on 12 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of the Gentle Author's blog for a while now, so was delighted to see how beautifully it translates to book form. Spitalfields Life is a love letter to many things: to pubs heavy with the memories of smoke and violence; to the transformative power of graffiti; to fresh beigels at any hour of a freezing night; to the unexpected pleasures of urban flora and fauna; to sad-eyed guardians of vanishing arts and to bright-eyed entrepreneurs brimming with innovations. It teems with life and vitality, and the book itself is an absolute work of art that reflects the area's own vibrant traditions. A book to treasure, and a book to give to friends, family and strangers alike.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lavender girl on 18 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having been a huge fan and visitor to this area of London for many years, despite living in Wales, recently discovered this book and can't recommend enough. Subscribe on the website for daily updates and plan a visit. Whoever the gentle author is, this is a well written book for lovers of London and social history
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jo-Anna on 12 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautiful. I haven't read it all yet but have flicked through looking at the photos and briefing over the people who have been chosen to feature in the book. If you are a people person and like to learn about local areas and lives then this is definitely for you. It has taught me a thing or to about the history of Spitalfields and has brought to light many places I now want to go and see for myself!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Niggle on 21 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic read. Not really knowing the area apart from the walk from Liverpool st station to Rough Trade Records in the old Truman brewery via the regenerated Spitalfield market. This book really brings the whole area to life with all it's interesting facts about the people and places that make it one of the most fascinating areas of London.
It is written really well, you just want to carry on and find out more, This book is not as boring as it may sound, far from it!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miss Frances Eileen Brotzel on 21 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I looked at the 'Spitalfields Life' website and liked it very much. I saw the book advertised and bought it. What a 'smashing' read it was. Very interesting about all the characters who live and lived there and their trades and occupations.
It's a book you can pick up again and again and just reread the short articles.It's written in a very 'homely' way- if you know what I mean.
Thoroughly recommended, as is the website.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Pether on 22 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Spitalfields Life is a wonderful website - not just about Spitalfields, but that area and around. And very much about life - people, personalities, stories, anecdotes. It's wonderfully illustrated, and entirely life affirming.

The book is absolutely in the same mould - short articles about people (and places), in Spitalfields and arounds, and the remarkable lives they lead. It's respectful of the past without being antiquarian - and very well illustrated with some really nice drawings.

A really nice example of new media hacking it in an old format.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Paul Robertson on 22 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Loved the blog and now the book. This is a really fantastic read chronicaling life in and around Spitalfields. It gives a great slice of life in one of London's most vibrant areas.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb magnum opus by The Gentle Author which brings us glimpses of a huge variety of peoples, their daily activities and work in and around Spitalfields. The sheer scope of life is breathtaking. All London is there. Characters, then old, new and dying skills and trades are introduced to the reader in over 400 pages. Her/his skill is in the sketches and immediacy in which we get to meet these Londoners. Our city is full of life and bustling streets, but in modern times, it's an almost ceaseless flow of people going and coming. A world of passing strangers, always on the move and at speed. Life around the city's big markets still retains some of the old constancies of the regulars; the vendors, the customers, the quirky, the philosophers... all create the vibrancy of life in these places. The cohesion of familiarity among the people we meet is very powerful.
A book which slows us down in revealing the people around us, as we all speed up to hurry past the people we now encounter daily on the street. Best book discovery of last year.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback