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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 December 2011
Following the phenomenal success of the previous Lost London, comes a big and even more immersive successor. (There have been some exhibitions in between too, which passed me by completely, and mysteriously.) As you might guess from the title this is a bigger book and it's in landscape rather than portrait format. So, even more than its predecessor, it's as close to a time-travelling virtual-reality tour of Edwardian London as you could hope for - all unvarnished reality, fog and horse dung. And shop signs and posters and adverts a-go-go! The larger and sharper (and tweaked?) photos give us even more joy of lettering this time. Edwardian London really was a place where the walls and windows shouted at you, almost all the time it seems. There's many a mystery here, like what did all the purveyors of horse feed and bedding do when the use of horses so rapidly declined, why don't you get peacock feather shops anymore, and why did R. White's stop making their clove flavour drink? Personal pleasures include two photos of Broadway Market, around the corner from where I was born 50-odd years later, and a truly grimy shop in Pitfield Street, near where I lived and very near where I worked, for years. But there's really fascination and revelation on every page.

NB This book duplicates (in larger format) 180 photos from the previous volume, adding 100 new ones.
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on 15 July 2012
It contains approximately 300 high quality black and white photographs. The historical detail in these images is amazing and one could easily spend years scrutinizing them. It is a very big book (approx. A3), about 2.5cm thick (not including the hardback cover) - no casual read this. There is a large image on nearly every page (most are full page, some even cover 2 full pages), so there's a minimal amount of text, although it does manage to say everything that it needs to.
The RRP is £40 and should not be tempted to pay more than this (especially for a used copy), when it's temporarily out of stock (for example), not because it's not worth it, but because you just don't need to - be patient! (WH Smith were selling it at £26 delivered recently.)
So, why only 4 stars? Well, because I was a little disappointed by the lack of nineteenth century images; in my opinion, the title of the book is slightly misleading: there is in fact one 1870 and one 1885 image, the rest are 1890-99, 23 images in all, representing only ca 8% of the total book. Moreover, there are 7 images from the period 1946-49 - the title is '1870- 1945'? Perhaps, I am being a bit petty there, but it's worth knowing that ca 70% of the books images date between 1900 - 1914, with a heavy concentration between 1906 - 1910; the period 1920 - 1949 represents ca 22%, with a fairly even distribution over this period.
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on 24 November 2011
Well, the photographs are so stunningly reproduced that you can almost smell the street life in this amazing collection.

Yes, there are plenty of books on Victorian this and Victorian that and Edwardian this and Edwardian that - and London of course features loud and clear in most of them - but somehow this one has the edge. It's revealing, it's honest, and it's magnificent.

The book is BIG - very - and the pages are BIG; the photographs are BIG - and that's one of the lovely things about it. It's a pleasure to look at. The details are as clear as crystal. No need for the magnifying glass here.

This is more than nostalgia. This is an important work of social history, because there are all too few volumes that manage to place the reader at the very heart of the subject in quite the way that this one does.

Historian Philip Davies is to be congratulated on this handsome book, which deserves to be popular with libraries and schools and punters alike - and the price tag is astonishingly modest for the wonders to be found between the covers. It's a splendid companion to the same author's earlier feast of the past: LOST LONDON.

Bear in mind that while some of the images appear in both volumes, over a hundred have been added to this new work.

One word of warning: PANORAMAS OF LOST LONDON is backbreakingly heavy. It's a coffee-table book that weighs more than the coffee table. DON'T LET THAT PUT YOU OFF. It's worth a few visits to the gym and the physio to be able to revel in it again and again.

It's superb.
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on 18 March 2012
This is a beautiful book. I bought it for my mum who has Alzheimers and it has helped her talk about the old days. The photographs are absolutely stunning. I cannot praise this book highly enough
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on 27 December 2011
I feel slightly mean giving this book 3 stars as it is a truly superb book. HOWEVER, I was rather dismayed to discover over 300 pictures have been published in Philip Davies' previous English Heritage book 'Lost London'. Only 60 pictures are new to this book. The reason given is that the previously published images have been 'blown up' to allow the viewer to appreciate the incredible detail to be seen on these huge pages.
Well, honestly I could take a magnifying glass to my 'Lost London' book if I want to appreciate the detail.
I do feel that, on the back of the incredible success EH have had with 'Lost London', this book is something of a quick Christmas cash in.
300 repeat pictures is a bit of a cheek.
Aside from that, and even if you do already own 'Lost London', I would still not hesitate to buy this book.
But next time Mr Davies, please could you dig a little deeper into the image archives.
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on 9 January 2012
As other reviewers have noted, many pictures in this book also appear in Lost London, but have been enlarged and cropped. There is a difference of opinion between some reviewers as to how many. I'm not going to try and count them, but English Heritage's own web site says they have enlarged "over 180 of the photographs found in Lost London and add[ed] over 100 new images to create the new, larger, landscape-format book, so readers can now enjoy the previously unseen gems of detail hidden in these historic pictures. The resulting changes in scale and cropping have have brought to light an astonishing depth of detail..."

I'm in two minds about this but they do have a bit of a point - the detail is indeed quite impressive. However, for me doing it the other way round and enlarging over a hundred and adding over 180 new one would have been better value!

They're not panoramas either - the pictures are generally cropped to about 4:3 or 3:5 ratio which isn't a panorama by any stretch of the imagination.

But I still bought it. Over 100 new ones is just that, and I have to concede that I do look at the enlarged cropped duplicates in a different way to the originals. The quality of reproduction is excellent, as is the paper quality.
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on 23 January 2012
This book is a gorgeous collection of photographs from the London County Council of buildings that were going to be destroyed from the 1870s-1940s. Unlike a lot of books of photographs of London this one doesn't just focus on the poverty or the grandeur but it covers wealthy areas as well as slums, places of work and industry. This makes for a much bigger impact. The photos are also stunningly well organised within the categories with streets next to each other geographically next to each other in the book. This gives a great sense of walking through London and seeing how it used to be. It also shows how poverty wasn't just confined to the East End but could be found throughout London.
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on 20 May 2012
This book is an excellent collection of top-quality photographs of London, mostly from about a century ago. One can see the best and the worst of the city, the mansions, the slums, the wide main streets, the narrow alleys.

But -- and it is an extremely big but -- if you already have Philip Davies' Lost London 1870-1945 then you will not need this book, as most of the pictures in this book have already been published in that one. I would have thought that the archive from which the pictures were taken would have had a sufficient quantity to have a made possible a second, new collection.

My rating: five stars if you do not have Lost London. I have, so why should I pay £40 to see the pictures again -- therefore one star.
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on 28 March 2012
I received the book as a gift and I am absolutely chuffed to bits with it!! The pictures are excellent.
I can't wait for the next one!! :)
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on 1 March 2012
I bought this book because I had previously purchased the other book "Lost London".

In both cases, I bought the books because having beeen doing Family History research for the last four or five years, it gave me an insight as to how London looked when my ancestors lived there.

Interesting to see how it has all changed, although in both cases, I would have preferred to have seen more "outside" pictures as there were quite a few pages of the insides of buildings - I know they were trying for a mix, but they did nothing for me, but other people may enjoy them.

Overall, a good buy - if there are any more in the series, I would definitely consider buying them.......
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