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3 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars The East End before Jack the Ripper fantastically brought to life, 30 April 2014
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I am very much into East End local history, but inevitably I know most about the 19th and 20th centuries, so this book was a revelation to me. It's amazingly detailed, and takes you on "virtual tours" at different periods: the places and the people are so well described you feel almost as if you're really there. I would strongly recommend it, and would happily give 5 stars to the book itself - ie the text. The reason I've only given it 4 stars is to do with matters other than the text. Instead of notes with reference numbers or page numbers, there's only a long list of sources: it's not a general bibliography, and looks as though it was meant to be notes, but it's almost impossible to work out which source relates to which bit of the text. All that's clear is what chapter it belongs to, and since chapter 7, for example, goes on for over 170 (fascinating) pages, that's not much help. This is very frustrating if you think you'd like to find out more about anything. Another concern I had was that the book could have done with a few simple sketchmaps. I think possibly it was intended to have at least one, since on p 32 it refers to watermills in a certain place and then says "(see plan)", but I couldn't find any such plan. Because of my interest in the local history I've got a fairly good mental map of the area, but anyone who didn't have that background might struggle with the virtual tours. Despite these whinges, I do hope everyone who's interested in the history of the East End will buy and read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and engaging history, 8 Jan 2014
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This is a wonderful account of the East End which takes the time to start right at the beginning with prehistoric London. It was a pleasure to read and covers periods of the East End's history often glossed over in works which focus on the Victorian period. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great history, 8 Jan 2014
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l love anything about the East End, having grown up there, and this author is one of the best with her knowledge and feeling for the area.
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