13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
For All Lovers of London!,
This review is from: The Gaol: The Story of Newgate - London's Most Notorious Prison (Hardcover)
I bought this book after enjoying the extracts on BBC Radio 4 for 'Book of the Week' (and because I have a passion for anything about London, the greatest city in the world...!) I was pleased to find that the book was even better than the radio extracts. Grovier covers a lot of ground - from Dick Whittington's founding of the jail in 1423 to its eventual demolition in 1903 - but the book is always readable and often gripping. And I learned a lot about London history and culture along the way. Partly this is because Grovier writes beautifully and the prose crackles with his obvious joy in language - like the distinctive chapter titles, for example, which are words taken from Newgate 'cant' or slang. But it's also because he has an eye for great human stories, and tells them compellingly, like the unexpectedly sad story of John Bellingham who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812. Highly recommended for anyone interested in London, or just a good read.