Our collection of expert curated books on London.
London is a "vast, complex and confusing city which has existed now for 2,000 years. It was described by William Blake as “a Human awful wonder of God,” which suggests the sacred or sacramental aspect of the city. But, of course, it is also a place of power and a place of money. London has been built upon the imperatives of money and power. That is its real raison d’être. It is not a formal or elegant city. It has not been built to accord with the wishes of its citizens. It has had a sort of natural organic growth which has taken a thousand different forms."
Our recommendations for books about London cover its history, literature and culture. Charles Dickens one of Londons most famous authors unsurprisingly gets several mentions.
Christine L. Corton describes how Londoners loved and hated the fog that defined their city for over 200 years. Fog bought confusion, suicide and death; but also anonymity, mystery and beauty. Here, she picks the best five books on the pea-souper
The social historian argues London is an intrinsically addictive city. He charts its history through its dependencies on chocolate, tobacco, coffee, and tea.
The historian and biographer of London Peter Ackroyd picks five books that shine a light on parts of this vast, complex and confusing city where, he says, pathos and pantomime meet.
A city of hidden depths and morbid fascination, by turns respectable and savage. Iain Sinclair picks five novels that capture the spirit and rich history of London.