Customer Reviews


39 Reviews
5 star:
 (29)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining read
Most chapters cover famous London characters from Boudica and Mellitus to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. I'm not sure how much of his politics I agree with, but he is one of those politicians who seems to see beyond immediate issues. He has studied the past and applies it to the present. This is made clear in his book.

He emphasises the nature of the...
Published 18 months ago by P. Maddox

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Loses its momentum midway through and a lot of the classical references meant nothing to me!
Published 7 months ago by JPW


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining read, 25 Sept. 2013
By 
P. Maddox (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Spirit of London (Paperback)
Most chapters cover famous London characters from Boudica and Mellitus to Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. I'm not sure how much of his politics I agree with, but he is one of those politicians who seems to see beyond immediate issues. He has studied the past and applies it to the present. This is made clear in his book.

He emphasises the nature of the London population, 40% having been born outside the UK. He scorns those that call naturalised British citizens "plastic Brits", illustrating that for thousands of years generations of people from all over the world have migrated to London, making it one of the greatest cities in the world. Whether these were Romans, Danes, Huguenots, West Indians, or more recently Poles.

He does claim that the first flush toilet was invented by Sir John Harington in 1596 for the Virgin Queen, although I remember seeing one in Knossos, Crete, which admittedly was extremely crude, but was also another 3500 years older.

I'd never heard of Mary Seacole, born in Jamaica in 1805, and a major contributor to nursing. She tried to join Florence Nightingale in Crimea, but after rejection set up a "British Hotel" there as "a mess-table and comfortable quarters for sick and convalescent officers", but also helped soldiers on the battlefield, including Russians and Turks.

Richard (Dick) Whittington (born on or just after 1397), Lord Mayor a number of times, set up a charity with his wealth, that still supplies cash to the needy today.

JMW Turner and Constable's difficult relationship is fascinating, as are the chapters on Robert Hooke and John Wilkes. He discusses what these people did, but also their personalities and quirks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and informative, 5 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book on the strength of reading an excerpt from the introduction in a London newspaper - it was so funny it had me in tears. Whilst its true to say that the rest of the book isnt in the same vein it is still written very much with the voice of Boris and he still has a turn of phrase that will make you smile. The book is an exploration of the history of London through key figures throughout the centuries. I found it interesting, witty, and I learnt something.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Same as Johnson's Life of London, 27 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
An excellent book. However, I had already read Johnson's Life of London and thought that The Spirit of London was a new book. It is not; it is the Life of London with a chapter on the Olympics. Unfortunately the Kindle sample only covered the first, i.e. the new, chapter. So I effectively bought a book I already possessed, but still a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jolly re-print of old material, 10 Dec. 2012
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
To be fair the blurb states quite clearly that this is an updated version of Boris's previous book with some stuff about the Olympics added to bring it up to date. To be even fairer the new stuff is actually quite funny, irreverent and interesting. The other chapters on historical figures are painted in lightly, this is not what you'd call an "academic" book, and has phrases like "roistering beanfeast" and describes King Harold as a "proper Saxon toff" so if you know Boris you have a rough idea what to expect. I think this book is an enjoyable light-hearted romp through London's history and if you read it on this basis you will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boris rocks, 23 Jun. 2013
This review is from: The Spirit of London (Paperback)
Thoroughly enjoyable read - Boris is both self depreciating and wonderfully engaging as he tells us about London. The new updated section covering the olympics had me snorting into my coffee and the history is both eye opening and interesting. By no means an academic book, it tells us enough to appreciate the history and has certainly kept me entertained. Excellent!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boris for MP/PM??, 26 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If Boris fails to make the grade as PM, let alone an MP, and gets fed up with being a mayor then he must become teacher of history to the masses. He will be brilliant. In print or on TV. Have learned more about London history, and felt really engaged with it, from this book than from any other book. A great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational, patriotic and heartwarming, 4 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As someone who works in the City I wanted to know more about the ancient history of the capital and also the more recent events that have shaped London into what it is today.
This book has also made me a bigger fan of Boris than I already was, especially his analysis of the Rolling Stones and specifically Keith Richards, all of which I couldn't agree more with. Hats off for mentioning the Small Faces too!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun, 21 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Spirit of London (Paperback)
Pleasant reading like all Boris Johnson's books. An interesting selection of personalities though history who made an impact on London.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 14 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very interesting and informative. This is written in a very amusing manner and thereby keeps the reader on side throughout.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous for bits of information, 17 Feb. 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Spirit of London (Paperback)
Bought this for my husband for Christmas and although not the usual bedtime reading he was quite fascinated by it and indeed surprised at how knowledgeable the author is. After reading only a short part of it he was able to answer questions on quiz programmes because of it. Instead of passing the book on he has kept this in his bedside cabinet to read again, which has to be a big recommendation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Spirit of London
The Spirit of London by Boris Johnson (Paperback - 6 Dec. 2012)
£8.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews