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Lost London 1870 - 1945 - Philip Davies

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Author: Philip Davies / Hardcover / 368 Pages / Book is published 2009-09-01 by Transatlantic Press

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      28.12.2013 00:58
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      Recommended for those interested in the history of London

      This review is of the large 368 page hardback book "Lost London : 1870 - 1945" by Philip Davies.

      I personally borrowed this book from the library and it was some considerable weight to carry home. The book is a snapshot of various buildings across London which no longer exist with many of the photos taken shortly before the buildings were pulled down. The buildings weren't though all destroyed for the sake of new construction or roads, many were sadly lost in the heavy bombing of London during the Second World War.

      It is sad that although the street line of London has remained unchanged in many places for centuries that most buildings have been lost. There are very few medieval buildings left in London and it's sad in many ways to read this book and see what has been demolished. Although cities move on and construction is important it's clear that sometimes insufficient thought was given to what replaced the buildings which were demolished.

      The photos in the book comes from the archive of English Heritage and there are over 500 photos, the vast majority of which have never been seen before in print. The author, Philip Davies, is from English Heritage and this enables the book to be both of general interest and also of some academic weight.

      I enjoyed reading through the book and dipping in and the book is split into various sections covering different areas of London. There is text by each of the photos which is relevant and describes the buildings and when they were lost. Although this is by no means a comprehensive record of what has been lost it does show a fascinating representative sample.

      The book was published by Atlantic Publishing in 2009 and the ISBN is 9780955794988. The book retails at £39.95 which is a lot of money but the book is substantial and well-made. At the time of writing the book is available new for £25 from Amazon including postage and a little more expensive on eBay. Second hand copies are around the same price so it is probably better to get a new copy.

      Overall I found this a really interesting book with plenty of good quality photos and text about the buildings which have now been lost. Although it's a little expensive this is definitely a recommended read for those interested in the history of London.


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