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The London Compendium: A street-by-street exploration of the hidden metropolis Paperback – 1 Jul 2004
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More About the Author
"'One of those books, destined to be read until they fall apart, that map the unmappable and make it live' Ian Sinclair."
About the Author
Ed Glinert was born in Dalston. He is the author of The Literary Guide to London and The London Compendium and leads a variety of walking tours around London. His fascination with people and place, coupled with his forensic gift for digging out obscure stories is perfectly suited to this uniquely intriguing subject.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
The world's leading financial centre and home of the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, ancient churches and medieval alleyways, the City of London occupies one square mile of land on the north bank of the Thames between the Temple and Tower Hill and is the oldest settlement in the capital. Read the first page Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Top Customer Reviews
The only downside is the ommission of the outer suburbs, so areas such as the Lea Valley, Epping Forest, Harrow, Stonebridge Park, Crouch End etc. don't get a look in. But this is the nearest you're going to get to the great London books of the 1920's-1950's (Clunn, Maxwell, Kent, Fletcher).
Amongst the many reasons to commend it are its range of subjects, covering all the stuff you'd expect (the Tower, architecture, the Great Fire, Jack the Ripper) along with an impressive array of other topics (punk rock, riots, murder, spies, etymology of street names, scandals) with an insightful range of titbits along the way, with my favourites including the tale that Houndsditch reportedly got its name as it was originally a ditch into which Londoners used to deposit their dead dogs, and that residents of Cheyne Walk in Chelsea are still prohibited from keeping peacocks because when Dante Gabriel Rossetti lived there he kept a menagerie including a wombat that ate a guest's hat...
It could perhaps do with a better index, as there is a people index and a subject index rather than one that covers everything, but in a way that contributes to its random dip-ability, meaning you find something new each time you open it. And I'd like it to be longer and cover every road in London but as it's already 500 pages I realise that's not a realistic criticism. It covers pretty much all of zones 1 and 2 plus some of zone 3, and also follows the paths of the Thames and the tube lines so if you're interested in practically any aspect of London then this is the book for you. (Not sure about the cover though; that painting should surely have stayed on the wall of the sixth form centre...)
Do yourself a favour and buy this book, its worth every penny.
I lived there once and return now and then, so I have a reasonable grasp of the place. And yes I did learn some things about some people in some places. But Glinert's London is not my London. The People Index at the end shows the usual suspects - kings and queens - having the greatest number of references, but there is also a large number of references to 1960s culture. And indeed, the subject index gives away Mr Glinert's true interests, where art and rock music vie for prime position with gangsters and murders. He seems to have a fascination for his (misspent?) youth where the Kray twins regularly pop up alongside fashion and rock venues. So, although the book, does have merit, it's not my chosen guide to "the hidden metropolis".
PS. The section on the river Thames does not really work. In any future edition the features described should be absorbed into the geographical area sections.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a useful work of reference for people who want a detailed introduction to the history and topography of London.Published 23 months ago by Richard Cohen
I am interested in London History having grown up in the City of London in the 40's and 50's
Already had a record of the ISBN reference so very pleased with it.
The London Compendium: A street-by-street exploration of the hidden metropolis A fantastic book which I have taken on my travels of London, full of fascinating facts and makes the... Read morePublished on 31 Oct. 2011 by loveabook
I bought this as a companion book to The London Encyclopaedia, and am glad I did as I find it a good supplement. Read morePublished on 29 Jan. 2011 by Yvonne Courtine
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