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The A to Z of Victorian London Hardcover – 1 Dec 1987

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Harry Margary/Guildhall Library London; New ed of 1888 ed edition (Dec. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0903541394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0903541398
  • Product Dimensions: 29.8 x 21.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,091,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

The A to Z


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This volume follows the format of previous works covering earlier periods in London's cartographic history. The A4-sized book is well-produced with solid boards and thick paper.

There is a three-and-a-half page introduction by Ralph Hyde who provides a background summary of the life of George Bacon and his atlases, from which the following printed map of 1888 is derived. Hyde tells us that, "In Bacon's description there is only pride and optimism. It is this that makes the maps in Bacon's atlas ... invaluable. For Bacon's maps convey a quantity of useful information which is truly astonishing, and it is the volume of detail that makes them useful to the historian and fascinating for today's Londoners." (Bacon's maps were drawn at nine inches to the mile for the inner city and four inches to the mile for the outskirts. However, these have been photographically reduced in 5:4 ratio for this publication.)

Hyde then comments on the changes in the London landscape that appear on the maps and some changes that do not: "The quantity and detail shown on the `Nine Inch' maps is remarkable. ... Very little of this information is to be found even on the largest-scaled Ordnance Survey plans of London in this period. [Even] the ground plan of the Palace of Westminster is provided. ... The `Four Inch' maps are especially useful in showing the villages around London as they were shortly before being engulfed by the metropolis. Many of the suburban branch railways that triggered off this drastic development are already shown in position."

The nine-inch maps cover plates 1-34. The Thames flows in these maps from Hammersmith Bridge to Bow Creek, and the north-south extent is from Crouch End to Brixton and Herne Hill. The four-inch maps cover plates 35-59.
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This must be the best street atlas covering late Victorian London and suburbs. Very detailed and very legible. Extremely helpful in terms of family research, if one has London ancestry. Booth's 'poverty maps' can be viewed on-line ( or purchased ), but not so legible. I am amazed that this atlas is out of print.
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