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The Stories Behind London's Streets

The Stories Behind London's Streets [Kindle Edition]

Peter Thurgood
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

"Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts. It is not in the showy evolutions of buildings, but in the multiplicity of human habitations which are crowded together, that the wonderful immensity of London consists"

Dr. Samuel Johnson. 1777.

The streets of London flourish like possibly no other city on earth, with stories from its rich history, stories of death - fire - disease, of riots, and grisly murders, but also of tales of happiness, determination and success. Behind every story and every street however, are the people who lived, worked, played, and even murdered there.

Everyone thinks they know of the legend of Dick Turpin, the gentleman highway robber, but Turpin was far from being the gentleman he was portrayed as. During one robbery, when he and his gang broke into an elderly widow’s house, Turpin hoisted the poor woman’s skirts and held her over the open fire until she screamed with pain and finally relented into telling him where her money was hidden. While this was going on, two members of his gang were raping the poor woman’s young daughter.

How many people also know anything about the small, insignificant looking “ventilation shaft” in Took’s Court, which is just around the corner to Chancery Lane and Lincoln's Inn? The ‘Daily Worker’ investigated it on 8th September 1951 and reported that it was the entrance to an atom bomb proof citadel that the Government was building. At the height of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 the complete complex was put under lock and key for a fortnight. No staff were allowed in or out during this period but other people certainly were, including the then Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan and other members of his Cabinet. Most people today think of the Cuban missile crisis, solely as a standoff between the USSR and the USA, but according to well-placed Soviets, the Russian premier, Nikita Khrushchev had placed London as first on his list, to be hit by a nuclear attack from Russia.
Looking at that small, insignificant looking “ventilation shaft” today in Took’s Court, it is difficult to put into perspective, the important role it played during those near fatal two weeks in 1962 when this country came so close to Armageddon.

History isn’t just about digging up artefacts from the dim and distant past, history happens every day. It happened yesterday, and most people never even noticed it.

Peter Thurgood

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 462 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Thurgood; 1 edition (19 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DLM4BY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,828 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good....but! 1 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well researched, and an easy read. The author obviously knows his subject.

But, the author obviously didn't bother with a proof reader, as it is liberally included with typo's and glaring errors, such as bearly when barely was the right choice of word, and that is not the only one. Silly really, spoiling what is an excellent read but finding oneself looking for the errors.

Having not seen or read the paper version I cannot comment on it but, this is the first Kindle transfer I've seen where the layout is as disjointed as it is here with such huge paragraph breaks and chapter titles often at the bottom of a page rather than the top. But maybe that's how the paper version is.

Still, having ranted, it is a good read and looking forward to book two, which I have but haven't started yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read 18 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book & it has opened my eyes to the history behind the numerous streets I walk along every day. The author keeps you guessing who the mysterious figure is that is involved in each story before delivering a famous name you have heard of but never known why.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely little book 26 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a frequent leisure visitor to London this book as a fascinating read. Little bit of history on the streets, little stories told with characters to bring them to life. Bought the second book too.
More excellent reading.
So much so that my best friend and I are planning a weekend in London in the spring to go and hunt down some of these lesser known parts of London that are still in the City and will be doing a photo story based on the books.
Rather than just use the normal tourist routes, I would highly recommend that you read this book, plan a route and go off to explore London away from the normal packed places.
Looking forward to spring. Can't wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories behind London streets 8 Nov 2012
By Cas
Format:Kindle Edition
Very interesting. Once started had trouble putting down. Looking forward to reading next one. Always been interested in London as worked all over London for many years. Would recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip down memory lane 9 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book revived a lot of memories for me as i used to work in the city back in 1960,
the streets covered by the book were all within walking distance of my place of work.

However there was a lot i didnt know so it was a very intresting read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was absolutely fascinating - I learned so much about London that I did not know. Would be a great read for tourists coming to London in the Olympics. I thoroughly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating! 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating volume of well known and some less well known historical spots of our capital city and it's environs! If you have any interest in history then you should read this book! It is fabulous!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Scatter-logical in nature, sensationalist and inconsistent. Will entertain those not to bothered by accuracy, but disappoint those looking for facts.
Published 5 months ago by Andrew M. Emery
5.0 out of 5 stars London's history
Very detailed and fascinating read on the history behind London's streets and put me onto another great book about Jack the Ripper and another detailed history from the 19th... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Geraldine O'farrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
Not just about modern London's Tube system but a history of their names and areas way before a town every existed. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Beth Brewis
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but to much padding
This book is quite interesting, but it would be far better if it was condensed, some of the stories have been repeated practially word for word; when streets have a common link,... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Blue Steel
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but needs a proof reader
The book is an easy read but littered with unnecessary errors that after a while become very irritating. Read more
Published 14 months ago by John Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read
Great book. I actually preferred it to Peter Ackroyd's London as I thought that was a little dry. I felt that the mix of history and stories works really well in capturing the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Chrissie
1.0 out of 5 stars Mystified by good reviews
This is a book to avoid. There are far, far better books on the subject - start with Peter Ackroyd's Biography of London for a start. Read more
Published 22 months ago by SE1Reader
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