×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Norton Book of London
     

Norton Book of London

by A. N. Wilson
 
Essays and writings by such varied writers as Dickens, Boswell, Dostoyevsky, Lenin, and Martin Amis celebrate the city of London, its rich history, landmarks, people, culture, and more. 15,000 first printing.
London has always been much more than a capital city. Its allure is so powerful that the city of monarchs and merchants once prompted Samuel Johnson to

Overview

Essays and writings by such varied writers as Dickens, Boswell, Dostoyevsky, Lenin, and Martin Amis celebrate the city of London, its rich history, landmarks, people, culture, and more. 15,000 first printing.
London has always been much more than a capital city. Its allure is so powerful that the city of monarchs and merchants once prompted Samuel Johnson to declare, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." From the Great Fire of 1666 to the Blitz of World War II, from the building of the Tower of London to the building of Canary Wharf, this prodigious city has long stood at the heart of English national life. At one time the center of the greatest mercantile empire the world has ever known, today London remains one of the major financial hubs of the world, as well as one of the most interesting tourist destinations in the English-speaking world. In this fascinating trip through time and space, celebrated biographer and novelist A. N. Wilson gathers a collection of literature that reflects not merely a sense of place but also the teeming variety of the town that, in its very refusal to be defined, so consistently captures the world's interest. The Norton Book of London views the city through the eyes of writers as various as Dickens and Joe Orton, Dostoyevsky and Lenin, Boswell and Martin Amis. We see criminal London, low life and high life, beggars and politicians, royal families, intellectuals and animals, in a wonderful portrait that celebrates London both past and present. From Black Beauty to Virginia Woolf, Wilson has scoured the shelves for a rich potpourri of the familiar, the diverting, and the strange.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, as is frequently done in this quirky anthology, a reader who is tired of compilations about London is tired of life. This is a pretty fair one, arranged under heads like ``Monuments,'' ``London at War,'' ``Seedy,'' ``Characters'' and ``Love.'' The pleasure in perusing such books is being introduced to new writers, or old friends in unfamiliar contexts, and being indignant about omissions. Wilson seems unduly fond of David Thomson, whose dull book In Camden Town gets constantly quoted; but he offers gems from Anthony Powell's novels, some unexpected moments such as Noel Coward's ``London Pride,'' good bits from Iris Murdoch and Rose Macaulay and ripe chunks of Dickens. He errs in offering nothing from J.B. Priestley's Angel Pavement, one of the great London novels, and in offering only an uncharacteristic snippet from Martin Amis's London Fields. But there's much to enjoy, even if it's sometimes an irritant to have a quote identified by date of publication rather than by the actual period it covers. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This lengthy anthology presents an extensive analysis of the city through the eyes of many literary figures. Through different modes of expression as developed by writers such as Samuel Johnson, Hardy, Dostoevsky, Browning, Blake, and T.S. Eliot, the editor has selected 18 different themes apropos of a fluctuating, dynamic city. Effusive descriptions of the city are balanced by more critical assessments; the book addresses the city's bounteous history, with its unique personalities and locales while also examining themes of desolation, low life, and despair. An eclectic omnibus of high literary value that reflects a changing Zeitgeist in an incomparable city.-Jo-Anne Mary Benson, Osgoode, Ontario
Deanna Larson-Whiterod
A. N. Wilson, esteemed English novelist and biographer, has assembled a collection of writings about London into a narrative of the great city's inexhaustible movement. Eclectic excerpts from poetry, essays, and novels are divided into sections of eccentric charm--"Low Life," "The Face on Waterloo Steps," "Characters," and "Seedy." Wilson's introductions to each section are some of the best writing in the book. He is a guide of quiet, unassuming erudition, and speaks of the city as one would of a strict, autocratic father: full of respect and affection once removed. London drifts ever forward, and these writings remind us how easy it is to stumble upon its history at every turn, while moving within the modern spirit of the city. Each selection marks a hidden moment in London life, and draws a continuum from which the reader can observe--in the Strand or Piccadilly Circus, in Westminster Abbey or Trafalgar Square--a past embodied in the smallest details, which sit silently as buses and tourists rush past.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393036312
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/17/1995
Pages:
484
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

A. N. Wilson is the author of the acclaimed biographies Tolstoy, C. S. Lewis, Jesus, and Paul; God's Funeral, and several celebrated novels. He lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews