Synopses & Reviews
The idea of a "Greater London" emerged in the 18th century with the expansion of the city's suburbs. In Landscapes of London, Elizabeth McKellar traces this growth back to the 17th century, when domestic retreats were established in outlying areas. This transitional zone was occupied and shaped by the urban middle class as much as by the elite who built villas there. McKellar provides the first major interdisciplinary cultural history of this area, analyzing it in relation to key architectural and planning debates and to concepts of national, social, and gender identities. She draws on a wide range of source materials, including prints, paintings, maps, poetry, songs, newspapers, guidebooks, and other popular literature, as well as buildings and landscapes. The author suggests that these suburban landscapesand#151;the first in the worldand#151;were a new environment, but one in which the vernacular, the rustic, and the historic played a substantial part. This fascinating investigation shows London as the forerunner of the complex, multifaceted modern cities of today.
This lively book offers a fascinating investigation tracing the growth of the suburbs of London back to the 17th century.
About the Author
Elizabeth McKellar is senior lecturer and staff tutor in the history of art, Open University.