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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5

on 30 April 2014
I am very much into East End local history, but inevitably I know most about the 19th and 20th centuries, so this book was a revelation to me. It's amazingly detailed, and takes you on "virtual tours" at different periods: the places and the people are so well described you feel almost as if you're really there. I would strongly recommend it, and would happily give 5 stars to the book itself - ie the text. The reason I've only given it 4 stars is to do with matters other than the text. Instead of notes with reference numbers or page numbers, there's only a long list of sources: it's not a general bibliography, and looks as though it was meant to be notes, but it's almost impossible to work out which source relates to which bit of the text. All that's clear is what chapter it belongs to, and since chapter 7, for example, goes on for over 170 (fascinating) pages, that's not much help. This is very frustrating if you think you'd like to find out more about anything. Another concern I had was that the book could have done with a few simple sketchmaps. I think possibly it was intended to have at least one, since on p 32 it refers to watermills in a certain place and then says "(see plan)", but I couldn't find any such plan. Because of my interest in the local history I've got a fairly good mental map of the area, but anyone who didn't have that background might struggle with the virtual tours. Despite these whinges, I do hope everyone who's interested in the history of the East End will buy and read this book.
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on 10 February 2015
Histories of the East End usually mean poverty, fog, Jack the Ripper and the Blitz, covering about 100 years from the mid 19th to mid 20th centuries. The hundreds of years of history before the Dickensian East End are usually ignored. But Tower Hamlets has finally got a proper history which covers the centuries from prehistory to 1800. 'Old East Enders' by Jane Cox isn't a light read but it is a terrific book, going into great detail about the East End and its people, when it was London's first suburb and only semi-urban: you will see the area in a completely different way
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on 8 January 2014
This is a wonderful account of the East End which takes the time to start right at the beginning with prehistoric London. It was a pleasure to read and covers periods of the East End's history often glossed over in works which focus on the Victorian period. Highly recommended.
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on 5 April 2016
The history of the East End before the Docks were built. Absolutely fascinating to anyone wanting to know about this period
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on 8 January 2014
l love anything about the East End, having grown up there, and this author is one of the best with her knowledge and feeling for the area.
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