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on 10 August 2012
There have been many photo books on London but this one is in a class of its own. The range of images, the quality of reproduction, the elegant lay-out, the smart photo captions, the plethora of clever quotes from books and films, make this an amazing visual history of London. The Victorian and Edwardian images, many in colour, work beautifully on the big page. The range of subject matter is marvellous: 510 large pages covering architecture, social life, infrastructure, immigration, politics, law, finance, popular culture and sub-cultures. The photos of the royal family and state occasions are often from subversive angles. My one small regret is there is nothing from Erwin Fieger's beautifully photographed 1962 book, "London - city of any dream".
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on 17 March 2017
This is a tremendously large book at 552 pages, measuring 270 x 352 x 54mm and weighing over 3.3kg. It is crammed full of photos showing the culture, society and architectural changes in London from 1837 to the present day.

The accompanying text is written in three languages, which is slightly irritating as you feel some pages are irrelevant. Having said that, the text is very interesting and adds background and information to the photos. The images themselves are very sharp and clear - some are black and white and some are in colour. Most images are half page in size, although some are full double page.

Divided into five chapters, the first is "The Monster City" (1837-1901). A wonderful aerial image of the 1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace shows a wide range of the wonderful things that were on display. There are two fantastic images of Tower Bridge, one from 1893 during the final stages of construction, and the other from 1894 on it's opening day. And, there is an incredible photo of a jam-packed overflowing Haymarket Theatre - everyone is dressed in evening attire eagerly awaiting the performance.

Next, "Modern Times" (1902-1938) has a colour image from 1928 of an iconic double-decker red bus. And, a photo of Nelson's Column being cleaned from 1905 is great. A slightly distressing but nevertheless interesting image is of the Ivory Floor from St Katharine Docks from 1913 - ivory tusks are piled up having been imported from the Empire countries.

"The Consequences Of War" (1939-1959) focuses on World War II and it's impact on London. An unusual and quirky photo of the bombed Holland House from 1940 shows members of the public browsing through books left undamaged in book cases despite the widespread devastation. There is a wonderful picture of the VE Day celebrations from 1945, and a sparkling double page colour image of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation from 1953.

"The Party And The Morning After" (1960-1981) has an amusing photo of The Beatles posing for a "Life" magazine cover. The front cover image of the book is shown again - a stylish woman standing in front of a fast moving red bus. And, the 1966 England World Cup football team meets Sean Connery whilst he is filming "You Only Live Twice". It is a lot of fun seeing Connery talking with Bobby Moore - the epitome of success in the "Swinging Sixties".

The final chapter "New Perspectives" (1982-Present Day) has a sombre 1997 image of the gates of Kensington Palace overflowing with floral tributes to the recently deceased Princess of Wales. An alluring Kate Moss is photographed during a photo shoot, and fashion photographer Mario Testino's image of "Cool Britannia" from 1996 with some of Britain's young music and fashion celebrities.

Overall, this is a wonderful book, and is a great resource for people who live in London or are visitors. It clearly shows how London has changed over the centuries, and should be treasured for years to come.
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on 25 November 2014
its a big lump of book - but it's in 3 languages, come on folks not necessary decent photography some very good but choose 1 language per print and give better information could and should have been brilliant, however for the discounted price its OK
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on 19 July 2017
Excellent book!
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on 24 August 2017
the perfect Birthday present
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on 26 April 2017
Great little book
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on 23 July 2012
Taschen always produce good product and this is no exception. A massive book packed with amazing photographs, printed full page so they can be examined in great detail. Provides a real visual history of our London, and an informative text.
Treat yourself or drop heavy hints for a Christmas present.
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on 31 August 2012
Where do you start in understanding a great city? London's greatness is one of the more elusive to portray in images. The timeline adopted by this superb new collection of photos may be the only way of getting to grips with London's stages of development and its unchanging character. The story begins with a boy in a cloth cap. He is eyeing the camera as horse carts and a sailship disappear in the fog. It's an image that shows how close Dickens was to capturing the likeness of his subject. Moving on, you pass alleyways that, except for the bowler hats of the pedestrians, could be moments from the present day.

As colour brings you into the 20th century, buses trace the red familiar flow of London's transport. Images of the Thames reappear like dreary or visionary scenes from a dream. History is in the making in the photos of London at war, or is commemorated in the many scenes of pageantry. A good third of the book traces the story of London's 60s glory, through the following decline, and up to the final resurgence of the City in icy glass and steel.

The book presents the great photographers and their famous subjects. Bill Brandt's masterpiece portrays a woman with movie-perfect hair, blissfully asleep, as outside searchlights cross the sky in the hunt for bombers. And then we are into the historic present with Harry Benson and Rankin. For those of us born in the city, this book provides a chance to reflect on personal histories; for visitors, a monumental introduction.
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on 4 October 2013
A well-chosen selection of photos of London from the earliest days of photography to the early 2000s covering all aspects - people, places, buildings, transport, etc. In most cases the captions include photographer, location and year.

I was knowingly getting the much cheaper small paperback but a warning to those who may not have noticed: you can see from the page count that the paperback edition, as well as being a reduced height and width, has only about a third of the pages compared to the hardback edition.

At the time I write this there is nothing in the general description to make this clear, and also many reviews that mention the size of the sumptuous hardback have been copied over to the paperback as if they are the same book.

They are not - ensure you buy the one that meets your needs.
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on 28 December 2016
Photographs are great but the text is in German and French as well as English which means there is even less information than it's size would indicate? Maybe I was sent the wrong copy or just did not look at the details closely enough. It's going back and I'll get the hardback.
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