Review published on July 5, 2018.
London is an intense city. It feels vast and packed with people, the modern architecture punches the skyline with the grey steels and glass structures. The shops are full of glitz and glamour. Some locations ooze money, others areas seem run-down, but every part of this great city is layered with history. In this charming little book, Christopher Winn wants to take you on seven walks around parts of the city to reveal the huge influence that the Victorian age had on the city and to show you the vast amount of it still left.
Each of the seven walks has a map and clear directions with around 20 or so notable examples of Victorian architecture. The places to find on the walks vary from marble urinals, palaces, terraced houses, pump stations, stations to churches. There are loads of details in here to add extra to the buildings that you are being taken around, including who built them, when they were built, historical details and snippets.
All the way through the book, accompanying the text, are the delightful drawings by Mai Osawa. These drawings are of the buildings and details from them, like gargoyles and occasionally some of the interiors. The prose is straightforward and pragmatic, the main intention of the book is to inform you of buildings that you will see on your walk and fill in the gaps in the history of the areas. More importantly, there is a helpful list of pubs provided at the end of each walk to enable you to slake your thirst and recover from your perambulation. Great little book on the London that a lot of people see every day but will be utterly unaware of.
Paul Cheney 3/3
Walk Through History: Discover Victorian London by Christopher Winn
Ebury Press 9781785036897 hbk Mar 2018
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