The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton Paperback – Illustrated, 18 Jun 2010
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Rose Collis is a critically acclaimed writer and historian who has lived and worked in Brighton since 1997.
Top customer reviews
However, it has the look and feel of a book published in the 1950's. This is because the only picture in colour is the front cover and nowadays you expect to see colour even in newspapers. Also, the organisation of the book is by an alphabetical system which has the effect of fragmenting the text. This makes the book hard to read from cover to cover because it is so disjointed. A different method of layout such as by a geographical or historical method (or a combination) would have added a narrative which would have improved readability.
This is a book that I will be dipping into for many years.
The new version is an absolute must for any one who loves Brighton & Hove - whether resident or visitor. The author has a keen eye and a sharp wit. I'm only at 'D' and each day I feel inspired to jump on a bus to go see some of the interesting areas she has describes.
10/10 - *****
I'd also take issue too with some of the photographs, there's one of North St which is used twice and is that really a photo of Martha Gunn who died in 1815?
Nevertheless I recommend this book to anyone interested in B&H.
The text consists of articles arranged in alphabetical order, covering buildings, people and topics relating to the city of Brighton, UK. There are 'see also' references leading the reader to related articles and websites noted where further information can be obtained. In addition, bubbles scattered amongst the text contain nuggets of unusual facts and opinions about Brighton.
A major strength of the book is the inclusion of notable local residents. Collis has included names that I had not come across before in publications of this type, eg: Hector Bolitho. Other articles include useful lists of fiction, films and art representing Brighton.
Collis gets round the problem of lots of articles starting with the word 'Brighton' by inverting names, so it's 'Albion, Brighton & Hove' and 'University, Brighton'. Generally, this works well, but it does mean we get oddities like 'Rock, Brighton' (the film) and 'Belle, Brighton' (the train). There are inconsistencies and anomalies: a section outlines the windmills that have existed in the city, but Rottingdean Windmill gets its own article. There is 'Cinemas', 'Cinematic Brighton' and 'Filmed in Brighton'. Articles are not always placed in alphabetical order, eg the first three in the 'K' section.
Some articles could have been usefully combined eg: 'Postal Services' and 'Post Office- Head' and four separate articles on streets and roads seems a bit much. And is it really necessary for all the various areas of Brighton eg: Hanover, Patcham, Withdean to be followed by the designation 'neighbourhood'?
Some of the articles are very wordy and could do with editing. There is nearly three pages on the new Jubilee Library which has only been open five years, but only one page on the Theatre Royal which has been open since 1806. There is a commendable use of statistics, but Collis doesn't always provide the date of compilation, so their usefulness is limited and will quickly date this edition of 'The Encyclopaedia'.
More worryingly, there are instances of content not being checked: twice in the article 'Centre, Brighton', we are told that the Conservatives held their first annual conference in the town in 1875; the article 'Coach House, Clifton Hill' replicates information contained in the entry on 'Clifton Hill', a sub-section of 'Clifton, Montpelier, Powis Neighbourhood'. Some text is meaningless: "The adjacent Sutton Lodge, decorated with lion-head figures, and now Cook, was a post office until 2005..." (p368) or "For 10 full days and six half-days in December and January, the council suspended parking restrictions: an estimated £660,000 in missed - approximately £50,000 - was lost" (p78).
The index at the back of the book is not fit for purpose and mostly replicates the order of the articles. In her introduction, Collis alludes to "the woman who is currently the voice of the speaking clock", but there is no index entry for 'speaking clock' or, indeed, 'clock, speaking'. Scattering is not dealt with; you will find information in various articles on, for example, Sussex Square, Brighton Film Studios and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra , but they can only be found by browsing as none of those terms are indexed. Alternative terms are not catered for: looking for information on Brighton's political history is found under 'Parliamentary Seats'; possible alternative terms such as 'elections' or 'constituencies' are not listed.
It is standard practice when reviewing reference works for the reviewer to bemoan the absence of subjects; I try to resist playing this game, because you just cannot include everything. However, there really are some glaring omissions in 'The Encyclopaedia'. The section on the Pavilion Gardens makes no mention of its iconic Café; the entry on Thackeray omits any reference to his comment about "kind, cheerful, merry Dr. Brighton", possibly one of the best known quotes about Brighton (but it does get referenced in one of the information bubbles). If we have an entry on Dennis Hobden MP, then we should have entries on longer serving MPs like Julian Amery, Andrew Bowden and Cooper Rawson.
Photographs are included, but some of them are murky; others (eg: pp 166 & 228) lack credits.
'The Encyclopaedia' is chockfull of interesting information, but is let down by poor indexing, inconsistent arrangement and sloppy proofreading.
Previous critics also complain that the book doesn't have much about Hove - well just read the title - it's THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF BRIGHTON.
Praise must be heaped on Rose Collins for the amount of research she must have gone through in writing this book. Its a worthy book companion to Tim Carders original masterpiece....
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews