Author(s): Peter Ackroyd
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A magnificent pictorial history of London, to tie in with Peter Ackroyd's TV series (BBC) based on his bestselling London: A BiographyLavish, large format picture book about London, with Peter Ackroyd's inimitable text and captions. Divided into three parts:Fire and Destiny London as metropolis; maps and 'layering' and 'continuities' (the same street through the ages); Roman London; the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of 1940Crowded London Begins with over-crowding of the city in Elizabethan times; spectacle in the streets (street sellers, street theatre, street fairs, prostitutes etc); the London mob (the Gordon riots, Notting Hill 20th century riots)Water and darkness London as centre of 19th century empire; the Thames; the urban poor; the homeless; sewage; the building of the underground; the lost rivers (the river Fleet etc) ; the blackout of the 2nd World War; London fog.
Ties in with the BBC 2 three-part television series which is based on Peter Ackroyd's "London: A Biography".
Programme one begins with Peter Ackroyd speaking the words: 'I have lived in this city all my life. I was brought up on a council house estate in west London.' It goes on to show him describing Turnmill Street (for centuries, associated with pornography); Cannon Street (haunted), Park Lane (the exact road dates from Anglo-Saxon times). There is no corner of London that he does not know. He has written biographers of the people whom he calls 'cockney visionaries' (Dickens, Blake, Thomas More) and many of his novels are set in London, including the most recent, The Clerkenwell Tales, a delightful 'take' on Chaucer.