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5 Beaverton World History- England and London
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2 Hawthorne World History- England General

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

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London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

London Under is a wonderful, atmospheric, imagina­tive, oozing short study of everything that goes on under London, from original springs and streams and Roman amphitheaters to Victorian sewers, gang hideouts, and modern tube stations. The depths below are hot, warmer than the surface, and this book tunnels down through the geological layers, meeting the creatures, real and fictional, that dwell in darkness—rats and eels, mon­sters and ghosts. When the Underground’s Metropolitan Line was opened in 1864, the guards asked for permission to grow beards to protect themselves against the sulfurous fumes, and named their engines after tyrants—Czar, Kaiser, Mogul—and even Pluto, god of the underworld.

To go under London is to penetrate history, to enter a hid­den world. As Ackroyd puts it, “The vastness of the space, a second earth, elicits sensations of wonder and of terror. It partakes of myth and dream in equal measure.”

Review:

"Ackroyd's investigation into the heated depths lurking under London — the Victorian sewers, tube stations, underground springs, that terrain that is 'home of the devil and of holy water' — fascinates in conception and falters in execution. The journalist and biographer relies too heavily on his theme of the underground as an underworld, hooking his scrupulous research into it as he digs down through London's gault clay and chalk into the 'portals' of 'dark matter.' Ackroyd (London) offers a brisk geological, historical, and cultural survey of buried Roman roads, wells from the fourth century, canals filled with fetid gases, rivers with 48 skulls excavated, and 'dead tunnels' of mole men; his take is whimsical, vibrant, and lurid, but occasionally lacking in sufficient direction and tension. Still, with characteristic obsession and stellar accompanying images, the book does home in on the breathing vitality of London's underworld — 'If you put your ear close to it, you can still hear the sound of the river pulsing underneath — and is a 'votive offering to the gods who lie beneath London.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

PETER ACKROYD is the author of London: The Biography, Shakespeare: The Biography, Thames: The Biography, and Venice: Pure City; acclaimed biographies of T. S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, and Sir Thomas More; and several successful novels. He has won the Whitbread Book Award for Biography, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award, among others.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385531504
Subtitle:
The Secret History Beneath the Streets
Author:
Ackroyd, Peter
Author:
Ackroyd, Peter
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
World History-England General
Publication Date:
20111101
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
45 ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.29 x 5.1 x 1 in 0.7 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Cityscape
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » London
History and Social Science » Sale Books
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » England » London
Travel » Europe » Great Britain

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets Sale Hardcover
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$9.98 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385531504 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ackroyd's investigation into the heated depths lurking under London — the Victorian sewers, tube stations, underground springs, that terrain that is 'home of the devil and of holy water' — fascinates in conception and falters in execution. The journalist and biographer relies too heavily on his theme of the underground as an underworld, hooking his scrupulous research into it as he digs down through London's gault clay and chalk into the 'portals' of 'dark matter.' Ackroyd (London) offers a brisk geological, historical, and cultural survey of buried Roman roads, wells from the fourth century, canals filled with fetid gases, rivers with 48 skulls excavated, and 'dead tunnels' of mole men; his take is whimsical, vibrant, and lurid, but occasionally lacking in sufficient direction and tension. Still, with characteristic obsession and stellar accompanying images, the book does home in on the breathing vitality of London's underworld — 'If you put your ear close to it, you can still hear the sound of the river pulsing underneath — and is a 'votive offering to the gods who lie beneath London.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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