London: A Life in Maps

London A Life in Maps 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 slee

  • Title: London: A Life in Maps
  • Author: Peter Whitfield
  • ISBN: 9780712349185
  • Page: 345
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 dictA 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 In London 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 complexities of social history, urban planning, and design within the rich documentation of London s immense and constantly changing cityscape.London A Life in Maps lets readers wander through the past and present of London s celebrated streets from Abbey Road to Savile Row and along the way reveals the city s captivating history, vibrant culture, and potential future.

    One thought on “London: A Life in Maps”

    1. If you are a cartophile and/or are interested in British history, then this is a book for you.The book consists of a series of short essays on particular features of London maps and/or the history of London as illustrated by maps. The topics are arranged chronologically and walk the reader through the entire history of the City and the greater metropolitan area. The earlier parts of the book are more map-oriented, while that latter parts of the book (particularly the 20th century sections) lean [...]

    2. Not your conventional historical narrative, but a lushly illustrated work that leads you through the always fascinating history of this city in maps and photographs. You will see the city in new perspectives thanks to the many historical maps that are employed as well as the informative text that binds the work together. Exquisitely produced, impressively researched and a pleasure to flip through, consider, ponder and explore.

    3. It was very pleasing for me to discover there are enough of us out there who love maps that there are whole books just for us. This is a collection of beautifully reproduced maps of London through the ages with a a short (and strongly opinionated) essay about the London of the day. A very satisfying read.

    4. a fascinating visual history of the development and expansion of London. The maps are well reproduced if a little hard to read. Most interesting was the way London grew and the buildings that make up the city. The historical part, or rather description, of London's growth was concise, the perfect text for a book that accompanied an exhibit at the British Museum.

    5. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but my impression is that I didn't quite get it. To help explain my disappointment, a little psychological background may prove helpful. Of all the things on this earth in which I find any fascination, maps rank very high on this list. On the one hand, the meticulous attention to detail is often breathtaking in a well-made map; on the other, many maps go to some effort to be aesthetically pleasing, and the ones that do, do it very well indeed. Also, the [...]

    6. This book had amazing illustrations/pictures/maps, and it led me to discover new ways of looking at London. It was more a history of London told through how it was made and laid out, and not so much a history of maps/map-making in the city, but I liked it. It had a lot of info to get through in a short amount of time and I feel he captured it well. I will say that the author sometimes let his opinion slip into the book, which at times I liked but overall it lessened the historical/scholarly aspe [...]

    7. I bought this as it combined two of my favourite things - maps and London - but on reading it it is far more than that and is a great concise history of the capital which is then illustrated by some fascinating maps. Although much of what it told me wasn't new it covered all the key moments and themes in London's history and the accompanying maps help explain them well and make them come to life, although at times its movement from a clear chronology to examining a particular theme over a longer [...]

    8. c2006: So, I like history and maps and, most especially, all things London. The maps are great although I think I would have preferred an inset highlighting a particular part that would have made it easier to work out. Some of them are very detailed but very small. The maps are well linked to the various historical periods. Definitely recommended. "No one was consulted before Inigo Jones or Wren went to work, or before the aristocratic estates were built up into the West End, or before Nash and [...]

    9. I have been studying London history as a hobby, and was so excited when I found this book. The one thing that has been missing from many of the research books I've purchased is maps of the city and neighborhoods. The problem with this book is that some (not all) of the maps are printed so small that they are impossible to read. The book is filled with great information, so I recommend buying it if you are an enthusiast. But if you intend to look closely at the maps, then order a magnifying glass [...]

    10. I'm a bit of a map nerd, and this was an interesting way to learn about London's history. Not the best way to learn about London if you aren't already familiar with the city, though - I live in east London and found many of the chapters on the west end boring since I don't know the present day area all that well. Sidenote: this book turned into bathroom reading, and was in fact ideal for the purpose since the chapters are only 1-2 pages long. So there's that.

    11. Beautiful coffee table book displaying maps covering all areas of London in exquisite detail. Very interesting to read about and see the history of London developing through the ages to what it is like today. Would make a lovely gift!

    12. It is a little repetitious at times but I really enjoy how every bit of history talked about is related to the historical map or drawing.

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