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London's Hidden Corners, Lanes & Squares

Author/EditorChesters, Graeme (Author)
Publisher: City Books
ISBN: 9781909282698
Pub Date22/10/2015
BindingPaperback
Pages192
Dimensions (mm)158(h) * 150(w) * 10(d)
A fascinating journey around London taking in over 140 of the city's hidden lanes, squares and courtyards, retailing their history, former residents, and historic buildings and landmarks.
$18.77
excluding shipping
Availability: 1 In Stock
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The inspiration for this book was the advice of thegreat Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), something of an expert on London, to hisfriend and biographer James Boswell on the occasion of his trip to London inthe 18th century, to 'survey its innumerable little lanes and courts'. In the21st century these are less numerous than in Johnson's time, so we've extendedhis brief to include alleys, squares and yards, along with a number of mews,roads, streets and gardens. London's Hidden Corners, Lanes & Squarestakes you off the beaten track to seek out places that often fail to registeron the radar of visitors and also most residents. Entries range from ancient history-soakedalleys and lanes in the City - where you half expect to bump into one ofCharles Dickens's characters or even the author himself - to smart,pastel-painted mews in Chelsea built to house horses and carriages (now home tomulti-millionaires); and from unexpected oases of Georgian elegance in traffic plaguedcentral London to tranquil Kensington squares, where you can hear birdsong andalmost smell the scent of money on the breeze.
SamuelJohnson also said, 'It is not in the showy evolutions of buildings, but in themultiplicity of human habitations which are crowded together, that thewonderful immensity of London consists.' Every corner featured in this book hasa story to tell, from those who lived there (actresses, bishops, painters,politicians, philosophers, writers...even ghosts of former residents!),significant historical events (from duels and demonstrations to plots andexecutions) and bizarre surviving landmarks such as a brick kiln, a sewer gaslamp and a Parisian pissoir. Althoughthis book isn't intended as a walking guide, most of the places featured areclose to one another in central London - notably in the hubs of Westminster andthe City, where you can easily stroll between them - and all are near publictransport links and easy to reach. Ihope you enjoy discovering London'sHidden Corners, Lanes & Squares as much as we did, and if you happenacross more secret gems on your travels, we would love to hear about them.

The inspiration for this book was the advice of thegreat Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), something of an expert on London, to hisfriend and biographer James Boswell on the occasion of his trip to London inthe 18th century, to 'survey its innumerable little lanes and courts'. In the21st century these are less numerous than in Johnson's time, so we've extendedhis brief to include alleys, squares and yards, along with a number of mews,roads, streets and gardens. London's Hidden Corners, Lanes & Squarestakes you off the beaten track to seek out places that often fail to registeron the radar of visitors and also most residents. Entries range from ancient history-soakedalleys and lanes in the City - where you half expect to bump into one ofCharles Dickens's characters or even the author himself - to smart,pastel-painted mews in Chelsea built to house horses and carriages (now home tomulti-millionaires); and from unexpected oases of Georgian elegance in traffic plaguedcentral London to tranquil Kensington squares, where you can hear birdsong andalmost smell the scent of money on the breeze.
SamuelJohnson also said, 'It is not in the showy evolutions of buildings, but in themultiplicity of human habitations which are crowded together, that thewonderful immensity of London consists.' Every corner featured in this book hasa story to tell, from those who lived there (actresses, bishops, painters,politicians, philosophers, writers...even ghosts of former residents!),significant historical events (from duels and demonstrations to plots andexecutions) and bizarre surviving landmarks such as a brick kiln, a sewer gaslamp and a Parisian pissoir. Althoughthis book isn't intended as a walking guide, most of the places featured areclose to one another in central London - notably in the hubs of Westminster andthe City, where you can easily stroll between them - and all are near publictransport links and easy to reach. Ihope you enjoy discovering London'sHidden Corners, Lanes & Squares as much as we did, and if you happenacross more secret gems on your travels, we would love to hear about them.

Graeme Chesters is an experienced journalist, copywriter, non-fiction and travel writer. He knows London well, having lived in the northwest, centre and southeast of the city, and is the co-author of Living and Working in London and Where to Live in London. Graeme is also the author of many travel guides and has travelled and written extensively on regions as diverse as Europe, North America, the Middle and Far East, and Australasia. He's also an enthusiastic wine writer (and drinker), and the author of two wine books. Graeme lives in Bexley in southeast London with his wife Louise.

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