A London Year: 365 Days of City Life in Diaries, Journals and Letters
A London Year is an anthology of short diary entries, one or more for each day of the year, which, taken together, provides an impressionistic portrait of life in the city from Tudor times to the twenty-first century. There are more than two hundred featured writers, with a short biography for each. The most famous diarist of all - Samuel Pepys - is there, as well as some of today's finest diarists like Alan Bennett and Chris Mullin.
There are coronations and executions, election riots and zeppelin raids, duels, dust-ups and drunken sprees, among everyday moments like Brian Eno cycling in Kilburn or George Eliot walking on Wimbledon Common. Vividly evoking moments in the lives of Londoners in the past, providing snapshots of the city's inhabitants at work, at play, in pursuit of money, sex, entertainment, pleasure and power, A London Year is a beautifully packaged gift hardback with foil detailing on the jacket, a ribbon marker and black and white illustrations throughout. The perfect book for all who live in or love this eternal, ever-changing city.
Presented as a dust-jacketed hardback with foil detailing on the title, and with a ribbon marker, A London Year is a beautiful as well as engrossing book to dip into everyday for a snapshot of London life through seasons, and throughout history. A perfect gift.
Staff Reviews This would make a fabulous Christmas present either for yourself (I love those ones they are always what you want) or for a friend. It is a tremendously handsome book, weighty (size brings gravitas) with elegant dark green covers, embossed titling and a ribbon marker.
Inside is a positive cornucopia of literary delights. It is a London Book of Hours. Each day of the year is marked with one or more extracts from diaries, letters and journals exploring the capital from Tudor times to the present day from writers are varied as Samuel Pepys or Michael Palin. You can dip in and out at random or pick the entry for today to enjoy and I have yet to meet a reader who didn't look up their own birthday. For example 1 October gives us a 1916 diary extract about a raiding Zepplin brought down in flames beside Daniel Bryceson's 1846 account of a local businessman's suicide whereas 23rd April has Samuel Pepys on the coronation of Charles II and one Mary Berry (but not that one, this was 1814) on the arrival of the King of France. There are world events and local gossip, great men and women and nonentities, the view from the gutter and the view from the throne, things to make you laugh and things to make you cry. Just like London itself really.
If you live in London it is a must-have and if you enjoy random jottings and books to browse when you should be doing something else then this will be a source of endless delight.
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