Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Local history (UK)

Please visit our Book Bulletin crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our 2017/18 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

Recommendations in this category collected between 21 October 2017 (the First Day of Winter in the Old Nordic calendar) and 12 April 2018 (the last day of the London Book Fair 2018) will be published on this page by 30 May 2018, the opening date for BookExpo America and the New York Rights’ Fair.

London: The Biography
Peter Ackroyd
(UK: @vintagebooks, 2001; USA: @VintageAnchor, 2003)

Much of Peter Ackroyd’s work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is a living organism, with its own laws of growth and change, so London is a biography rather than a history. It differs from other histories, too, in the range and diversity of its contents. Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. There are chapters on the history of silence and the history of light, the history of childhood and the history of suicide, the history of Cockney speech and the history of drink.

London is perhaps the most important study of the city ever written, and confirms Ackroyd’s status as what one critic has called ‘our age’s greatest London imagination.’

UK: ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages guide to independent bookstores | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Canada: FindaBookstore.ca search engine | Amazon | Indigo
Rest of the world: Book Depository

Recommended by:
Paul Atherton, Managing Director, Simple (TV) Productions Ltd (film/television)

Paul says: ‘The best book ever written about my city.’

Paul has recently run a campaign to raise awareness of the Homeless in London by Living in a Car for a year. You can follow his progress via Twitter @LondonersLondon using the hashtag #LivingInACar

 

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