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Eccentric London Hardcover – 1 Apr 2005
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Everyone knows about the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and the Tower, but Eccentric London focuses on the capital's less conventional history. This beautifully illustrated book takes the reader around the capital district by district, stopping at a range of unusual locations including the hatters Lock & Co., patronized by Napoleon and little changed since the early 18th century; Highgate Cemetery, with chains leading up through gravestones to tiny bells as an insurance policy should someone be buried alive; and Britain's smallest prison in Trafalgar Square. Eccentric London is an exploration of the hallmarks of London's long and chequered history, illustrated by Ricky Leaver's unique photography.
About the Author
Tom Quinn is the editor of the Country Land and Business Association's magazine and has written numerous books, including Britain's Best Walks and Hidden Britain (both New Holland), Tales of the Old Country Farmers, Tales from the Water's Edge and Last of the Line (all David & Charles). Ricky Leaver is a London-based photographer who runs the London Stills picture library: the only online picture library dedicated to the city of London.
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Here is a guide for exploration around the city and environs written with a tongue in cheek humour that comes from another world and far cry from the traditional tourist guide. Read it then reflect on this strange world of off the world London. You may enjoy this book and would make a great present for any Londoner who thinks that he knows well the city that he loves.
The author claims that "this book is the result of several years spent digging in obscure and dusty archive", could he not have spared another few minutes of his valuable time to check (and this is just one of many inaccuracies) that the Ritz was built in 1906, so an American visitor could not have possibly stayed there in the 19th century in order to shoot ducks from the roof.
Charles I didn't "wait until his deathbed to pronounce his adherence to the old religion" (Catholicism) because his head was chopped off in front of the Banqueting House in 1649 and his wife Henrietta Maria didn't move to Somerset House after his death because she was exiled in France.
The same goes for another book by the same author - "London's Strangest Tales" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Londons-Strangest-Tales-Quinn/dp/1861059760/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1283701833&sr=1-5
London's Strangest Tales