The Book Lover’s Guide to London – Sarah Milne

London is London. It’s hard for me to resist its siren call, because—well, there’s no because. I like it, plain and simple. Cities with that much history, cities that witnessed the passing of time, they’re fascinating by definition. I don’t wish to live there, but hey, I wish I could visit it for a couple of weeks.

Even more so if it’s as interesting as Sarah Milne says it is.

**

Many of the greatest names in literature have visited or made their home in the colourful and diverse metropolis of London. From Charles Dickens to George Orwell, Virginia Woolf to Bernadine Evaristo, London’s writers have bought the city to life through some of the best known and loved stories and characters in fiction.

This book takes you on an area-by-area journey through London to discover the stories behind the stories told in some of the most famous novels, plays and poems written in, or about, the city.

Find out which poet almost lost one of his most important manuscripts in a Soho pub.

Discover how Graham Greene managed to survive the German bomb that destroyed his Clapham home.

Climb down the dingy steps from London Bridge to Thames path below and imagine how it felt to be Nancy trying to save Oliver Twist, only to then meet her own violent death.

Drink in same pub Bram Stoker listened to the ghost stories that inspired Dracula, the plush drinking house where Noel Coward performed, and the bars and cafes frequented by modern writers.

Tour the locations where London’s writers, and their characters lived, worked, played, loved, lost and died.

This is the first literature guide to London to be fully illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout the book. This unique book can be used a guidebook on a physical journey through London, or as a treasury of fascinating, often obscure tales and information for book lovers to read wherever they are.

Travel guide
Pen & Sword Books
Goodreads

**

Cover: Uh. Too chaotic for me.

Yay!

  • The Book Lover’s Guide to London is a handy travel guide written by Sarah Milne. What makes it stand out among the sea of travel guides is Milne’s approach to the city. She prefers to stray from the beaten path—good!—offering the reader a new perspective concerning London. There are pictures of buildings and statues I never encountered before, curiosities, and anecdotes, each of them framed inside a nice graphic layout. What a refreshing take!
  • The primary focus is on famous artists who used to live in London. Writers and poets, they’re all immortalized in their own district. 
  • Smart choice of structure. Every chapter is about a different section of the town, with subsections focusing on districts. 
  • Last but not least, Milne’s style is a delight. Reading The Book Lover’s Guide to London has been a pleasure.

Special mention:

  • Covent Garden Market
  • The Royal Opera House
  • Trafalgar Square – the fountain! 
  • Charles Dickens Museum
  • The Hardy Tree
  • The Paddington Bear statue

Nay!

  • Nothing 🙂

TL;DR

5 stars on GR.

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