London: a life in maps

Front Cover
British Library, 2006 - History - 208 pages
2 Reviews
A city long shrouded in literary and historical mists--not to mention real ones--London seduces tourists and natives alike. From Big Ben to the grimy Victorian streets of Dickens novels on up to the sleek high-rises that dot the skyline of the twenty-first-century metropolis, the urban landscape of London is steeped in history, while forever responsive to the changing dictates of progress, industry, and culture. InLondon: A Life in Maps, acclaimed historian Peter Whitfield reveals a wealth of surprising truths and forgotten facts hidden in the city's historic maps. Whitfield examines nearly 200 maps spanning the last 500 years, all of which vividly demonstrate the vast changes wrought on London's streets, open spaces, and buildings. In a rich array of colorful cartographic illustrations, the maps chronicle London's tumultuous history, from the devastation of the Great Fire to the indelible marks left by World Wars I and II to the emergence of the West End as a fashion mecca. Whitfield reads historic sketches and detailed plans as biographical keys to this complex, sprawling urban center, and his in-depth examination unearths fascinating insights into the city of black cabs and red double-deckers. With engaging prose and astute analysis he also expertly coaxes out the subtle complexitiesof social history, urban planning, and designwithin the rich documentation of London's immense and constantly changing cityscape. London: A Life in Mapslets readers wander through the past and present of London's celebrated streetsfrom Abbey Road to Savile Rowand along the way reveals the city's captivating history, vibrant culture, and potential future.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LuxVestra - LibraryThing

Informative and entertaining, with an excellent selection of maps and illustrations. It was spoiled a little by the author's contemptuous dismissal of all London architecture of the last few decades, from the "notorious Barbican" (eh?) onwards. Read full review

London: a life in maps

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Whitfield, the author of several books on maps, including Cities of the World, has produced a fascinating history of London organized around some 100 of the countless maps, panoramas, and plans ... Read full review


London Before the Fire
The Earliest Images of the City
The Tower and Westminster Abbey

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