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"By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show." - Samuel Johnson

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  History and Literature of London   London Stories  

London Stories

London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world, proclaims Jerry White, and he sets out to prove it with this superb collection of fictional and factual writings spanning four centuries of the much-storied metropolis. Also the author of London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing; London in the Nineteenth Century; and London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People, White gives us cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and ...... read more

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It has been the backdrop for some of history's greatest dramas, and was the birthplace of literature's greatest dramatist; it was once the seat of the world's mightiest empire and the most populous city on the planet, while the list of historical figures, notable personalities, and literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic talents who have called it home is simply staggering. London has survived devastating fires, plagues, sackings, conquests, bombings, and revolutions over its 2,000-year history, yet the fortitude of its people is one of the city's most defining characteristics, and it has come back stronger each time.

Here we celebrate the remarkably rich history of this world heritage city, its unique mélange of squalor and splendor (or is that splendour?), and its place at the very heart of culture in the English-speaking world.
 

 

  London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets  

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

The Whitbread Award–winning biographer of T.S. Eliot and William Shakespeare, as well as of the River Thames and London itself, Peter Ackroyd here digs deep into London's underside to offer this intriguing alternative portrait of the city. London Under is an atmospheric, imaginative, at times oozing short study of everything that goes on under the capital, from original springs and streams to Roman amphitheaters, from Victorian sewers and gang hideouts to modern tube stations. The depths ...... read more

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Secrets of Underground London  

Secrets of Underground London

Gareth Sacala, director.

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Underneath the buzzing, modern metropolis that is London lies an extraordinarily varied, hidden world that spans millennia. During World War II, for example, tens of thousands of people sheltered in ... ... read more

 
Theater of a City: The Place of London Comedy, 1598–1642  

Theater of a City: The Place of London Comedy, 1598–1642

Jean E. Howard.

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The commercial stage of 17th-century London depended on the demographic growth and commercial vibrancy of the city to fuel its own development, creating a particular synergy between the early modern ... ... read more

 
Charles Dickens: A Life  

Charles Dickens: A Life

Claire Tomalin.

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(Shortlisted for the 2011 Costa Book Award) The winner of the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year for her biography Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, Claire Tomalin is also renowned for ... ... read more

 
The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace  

The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace

Molly Caldwell Crosby.


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In the summer of 1913, under the cover of London's perpetual smoggy dusk, two brilliant minds—a celebrated gentleman thief and a talented Scotland Yard detective—pit themselves against each other in ... ... read more

 
Unsolved London Murders: The 1920s & 1930s  

Unsolved London Murders: The 1920s & 1930s

Jonathan Oates.


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In this companion volume to Unsolved Murders of Victorian and Edwardian London, illustrated with contemporary and period photos, Jonathan Oates presents more than 20 haunting, sometimes ... ... read more

 
 
Charles Dickens: The Dickens Bicentenary 1812–2012  

Charles Dickens: The Dickens Bicentenary 1812–2012

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley.

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Produced in association with the Charles Dickens Museum, London, this beautifully decorated visual biography follows Dickens's life through paintings, drawings, and photographs—as well as removable ... ... read more

 
Jane Austen's London  

Jane Austen's London

Roy & Lesley Adkins.

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This cultural snapshot of everyday life in the world of Jane Austen, from the authors of Nelson's Trafalgar and The War for All the Oceans, explores the customs and culture of Austen's ... ... read more

 
A Century of Royalty  

A Century of Royalty

Ed West.

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From the 1910 funeral of King Edward VII, which began the modern era inaugurated by his successor George V, to the birth of Prince George to Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in ... ... read more

 
Best of British Memorabilia Set  

Best of British Memorabilia Set

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Anglophiles, rejoice! This 4-DVD collection celebrates all things British with Britain in the 40s, 50s & 60s, an affectionate look at life through the lenses of newsreel cameras; 50 Events ... ... read more

 
Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain  

Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain

Michael Farquhar.

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Whether nagged by scandals, betrayed by their spouses, or embarrassed by their children, the kings and queens of Great Britain have been many things, but they have never been dull. From ambitious ... ... read more

 
 
Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900–1939  

Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900–1939

Virginia Nicholson.

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(A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2002) They ate garlic and didn't always bathe; they listened to Wagner and worshiped Diaghilev; they sent their children to coeducational ... ... read more

 
Sweeney Todd—The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Special Edition  

Sweeney Todd—The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Special Edition

Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall & others. Tim Burton, director.

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Stephen Sondheim's Broadway masterpiece of the macabre was finally brought to the screen in 2008 by Tim Burton. In addition to Golden Globes for best film and best actor in its category ... ... read more

 
The New York Times London Journal: 144 Ruled Pages, with 3 Tip-in Photographs and Ribbon Marker  

The New York Times London Journal: 144 Ruled Pages, with 3 Tip-in Photographs and Ribbon Marker


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Dateline, London: Photographs of the British capital decorate this handsome journal, in a perfect travel size for a foreign correspondent (6 x 8 1/2 inches closed). Along with laminated photographic ... ... read more

 
Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King  

Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King

Charles Beauclerk.


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Beautiful, quick-witted, and sexually magnetic, Nell Gwyn remains one of England's great folk heroines. The story of her exceptional rise from a hard childhood on the streets of London to become a ... ... read more

 
Shakespeare: The Life, The Works, The Treasures  

Shakespeare: The Life, The Works, The Treasures

Catherine M.S. Alexander.


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Produced in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and beautifully illustrated with photos from RSC performances and period artwork, this scrapbook album explores William Shakespeare's ... ... read more

 
 
Dynamite, Treason & Plot: Terrorism in Victorian & Edwardian London  

Dynamite, Treason & Plot: Terrorism in Victorian & Edwardian London

Simon Webb.


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Although Britons may think of terrorism as a relatively recent phenomenon, it has been a feature of London life for more than 150 years. In this history, Simon Webb reveals the schemes—perpetrated by ... ... read more

 
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes  

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle.

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This collection presents 11 of the most intriguing cases that Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson ever solved, including "Silver Blaze," "The Greek Interpreter," and "The Musgrave Ritual." ... ... read more

 
Jamrach's Menagerie  

Jamrach's Menagerie

Carol Birch.

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(2011 Man Booker Prize Finalist and Orange Prize Nominee) The 19th century comes vividly alive in this gripping, magical tale of a London street urchin named Jaffy Brown, the U.S. debut for ... ... read more

 
Classic English Literature Collection, Vol. 2: The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Mansfield Park; The Turn of the Screw; A Room with a View  

Classic English Literature Collection, Vol. 2: The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Mansfield Park; The Turn of the Screw; A Room with a View

Matthew Rhys, Billie Piper, Jodhi May, Pam Ferris, Colin Firth, Laurence Fox, Rafe Spall & others.

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Composed of four classic film adaptations and a set of finely detailed reproductions of rare memorabilia from the lives of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Henry James, and E.M. Forster, this collection ... ... read more

 
London Bridge 3-D Wooden Puzzle  

London Bridge 3-D Wooden Puzzle


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Presented on four die-cut sheets of thin, fine plywood (13 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches), this advanced 128-piece construction kit for ages 9 and up builds into an impressive 3-D model of London Bridge. Just ... ... read more

 
 
The Young Victoria  

The Young Victoria

Alison Plowden.


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"I delight in this work," wrote the young Victoria shortly after she became Britain's queen in 1837, a month after her 18th birthday. She was an engaging creature, high-spirited and, contrary to ... ... read more

 
London's East End Survivors: Voices of the Blitz Generation  

London's East End Survivors: Voices of the Blitz Generation

Andrew Bissell.


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On September 7, 1940—Black Saturday—London's East End took the first aerial assault of the Blitz, and the capital was pounded for 57 consecutive nights. The tightly packed homes, pubs, shops, and ... ... read more

 
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things  

The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things

Paula Byrne.


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Who was the real Jane Austen—a retiring spinster who confined her novels to the small canvas of village life, or a strong-minded woman who took the bold decision to remain unmarried and fashion ... ... read more

 
Virginia Woolf  

Virginia Woolf

Mary Ann Caws.

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A leading figure in the Bloomsbury circle, whose brilliant, stylistically innovative novels of the 1920s—among them To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway—extended the boundaries of ... ... read more

 
The Widow's Secret: A Bella Wallis Mystery  

The Widow's Secret: A Bella Wallis Mystery

Brian Thompson.


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A respectable society widow with a secret identity, Bella Wallis absconds to an office hidden in the seedy backstreets of Victorian London where, under the pen name Henry Ellis Margam, she writes ... ... read more

 
 
Haydn's Visits to England  

Haydn's Visits to England

Christopher Hogwood.


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In September 1790, following the death of his princely patron, court composer Joseph Haydn and his orchestra were sacked. But the cloistered composer received a visit from London-based German ... ... read more

 
Bedlam: London and Its Mad  

Bedlam: London and Its Mad

Catharine Arnold.


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Bedlam—the very name, derived from a nickname for Bethlehem (or Bethlem) Hospital, conjures up images of naked patients in filthy conditions, or untended wards proclaiming themselves Napoleon or ... ... read more

 
The Strange Laws Of Old England  

The Strange Laws Of Old England

Nigel Cawthorne.


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Did you know that it's against the law for couples to check into a London hotel under assumed names for the purpose of a romantic tryst? Or that by order of Edward II, all whales washed up on the ... ... read more

 
Oliver Twist  

Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens.

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First published in book form in 1838, Charles Dickens's second novel is a scathing satire indicting child labor and the English Poor Laws. Orphaned at birth and abandoned to the hardships of the ... ... read more

 
Murder on the Home Front  

Murder on the Home Front

Patrick Kennedy, Tamzin Merchant & others. Geoffrey Sax, director.

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Based on the memoirs of Molly Lefebure (secretary to Britain's Home Office pathologist), this 2013 PBS Masterpiece Mystery! two-parter focuses on the nascent field of forensic science. Set in ... ... read more

 
 
London Under Attack: From Caesar to Hitler  

London Under Attack: From Caesar to Hitler

Michael Foley.


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From Roman times through World War II and beyond, London's dramatic history as a target is chronicled in this abundantly illustrated narrative. The city has often been the center of hostilities, more ... ... read more

 
The St. Zita Society  

The St. Zita Society

Ruth Rendell.


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From three-time Edgar Award winner Ruth Rendell comes this captivating and expertly plotted tale of residents and servants on one block of a posh London street, and the deadly ways in which their ... ... read more

 
Three Brothers  

Three Brothers

Peter Ackroyd.

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(First Edition, Signed Bookplate) No one gives us the city of London like Peter Ackroyd, and in this witty, rapier-sharp novel—one of our favorites at Daedalus—he takes us back to the Swinging ... ... read more

 
The Phoenix: The Men Who Made Modern London  

The Phoenix: The Men Who Made Modern London

Leo Hollis.


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The remarkable story of how London was transformed after the Great Fire of 1666 into the most powerful city in the world, Leo Hollis's history begins in the 1640s, as the city was gripped by the ... ... read more

 
The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas de Quincey  

The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas de Quincey

Robert Morrison.

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Author of the famed and scandalous Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859) enjoyed friendships with leading poets and men of letters in the Romantic and Victorian ... ... read more

 
 
Samuel Johnson: A Personal History  

Samuel Johnson: A Personal History

Christopher Hibbert. Henry Hitchings, foreword.

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In his close-up biography of the Western world's most influential literary critic, Christopher Hibbert unearths little-known anecdotes to paint Samuel Johnson's time as a schoolboy, his ... ... read more

 
She-Wolves: England's Early Queens  

She-Wolves: England's Early Queens

Dr. Helen Castor, host.

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Medieval and Tudor England was built for and ruled by men; women who sought to rule in their own right were viewed with horror and vilified as "she-wolves." Yet beginning 800 years ago with ... ... read more

 
Murder & Mayhem in North London  

Murder & Mayhem in North London

Geoffrey Howse.


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Delving into crime files covering 200 years of North London's darkest past Geoffrey Howse uncovers long-forgotten cases that made the headlines in their day, as well as others still famous today. ... ... read more

 
Shakespeare: Staging the World  

Shakespeare: Staging the World

Jonathan Bate & Dora Thornton.

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Almost as good as time-traveling back to Shakespeare's London to see one of his plays at the Globe Theatre, this heavily illustrated book gives us the streets, shops, and churches that the poet would ... ... read more

 
Voices from the World of Samuel Pepys  

Voices from the World of Samuel Pepys

Jonathan Bastable, ed.


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Thanks to his Diary, Samuel Pepys has become one of the most fascinating characters of 17th-century Britain. Writing almost daily from 1659–1669, his life encompassed historical and social ... ... read more

 
 
The Men Who Would Be King: The Courtships of Queen Elizabeth I  

The Men Who Would Be King: The Courtships of Queen Elizabeth I

Josephine Ross.

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For more than half a century, Elizabeth I was pursued by kings, princes, and nobles from across Europe, in marriage negotiations that blended romance with diplomacy, yet not one of these illustrious ... ... read more

 
Thomas Hardy: Behind the Mask  

Thomas Hardy: Behind the Mask

Andrew Norman.


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Lifting the shroud of secrecy that Thomas Hardy deliberately drew over his life, Andrew Norman here explores the anguish of the great novelist and poet's personal life, and seeks to determine how it ... ... read more

 
Charles Dickens: A Celebration  

Charles Dickens: A Celebration

Charles Mosley.


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Heavily illustrated with captioned color reproductions of art, engravings, photos, and such ephemera as original title pages, this book from the author of Hans Christian Andersen: The Illustrated ... ... read more

 
Great Expectations  

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens.

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"Psychologically the latter part of Great Expectations is about the best thing Dickens ever did," assayed George Orwell of this late novel by Charles Dickens, from 1861. Philip Pirrip—known as ... ... read more

 
London's Classic Restaurants: A Guide to London's Iconic Restaurants and Eateries  

London's Classic Restaurants: A Guide to London's Iconic Restaurants and Eateries

Cara Frost-Sharratt.

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London's diverse dining scene is constantly changing—establishments come and go every year, yet some have stood the test of time to become fixtures of the city, attracting diners not just year after ... ... read more

 
 
Mrs. Henderson Presents  

Mrs. Henderson Presents

Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Guest, Kelly Reilly & others. Stephen Frears, director.


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Rich enough to be able to ignore the tongue-clucking opinions of respectable society, widow Laura Henderson (Judi Dench, whose performance was nominated for an Oscar in 2006) buys a rundown theater ... ... read more

 
Elizabeth I and Her World  

Elizabeth I and Her World

Susan Watkins. Mark Fiennes, photos.

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Illustrated with 154 color reproductions of art and page-filling photographs of castles and grounds, this book from the author of Jane Austen: In Style provides a close-up account of a ... ... read more

 
Nimrod's Shadow  

Nimrod's Shadow

Chris Paling.


Sale Price: $2.98

Reilly is an impoverished painter in a shabby garret in Edwardian London, with only his unsold canvases and his dog Nimrod for company, in this "tightly wound, often nail-biting" mystery ... ... read more

 
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