on 11 December 2008
This is the best coffee table book on London I've ever seen. Not that it's just photos. In fact there's plenty of text to accompany the images. However it's the latter that stand out. There are endless refreshing and surprising angles on familar landmarks as well as images of residential architecture from Victorian slum housing to postwar housing estates. There are images of opulent Victorian hotel interiors, motorways under construction, of the great railway stations, medieval remnants, swanky new bars - this book really does attempt to capture everything that London is and has been. It succeeds brilliantly. There are endless superbly chosen black and white images of London as it was (and in the process of being built) together with colour photos of how those places look today and of contemporary additions. More than anything this book captures the spirit of London, the feeling of a city that is constantly rebuilding itself, and serves as a visual essay of how the modern metropolis came to be over the last 200 years.