London Stories

Publisher: Everyman's Library
London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place.

Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of both London life and writing over the past four centuries, from Shakespeare’s day to the present. These are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between, some from well-known voices and others practically unknown. Here are dramatic views of such iconic events as the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz, but also William Thackeray’s account of going to see a man hanged, Thomas De Quincey’s friendship with a teenaged prostitute, and Doris Lessing’s defense of the Underground. This literary London encompasses the famous Baker Street residence of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the bombed-out moonscape of Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime streets, Charles Dicken’s treacherous River Thames and Frederick Treves’s tragic Elephant Man. Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Hanif Kureishi are among the many great writers who give us their varied Londons here, revealing a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

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Preface

London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll-call of story-tellers includes cultural giants who changed the way that people thought about writing, like Shakespeare, Defoe and Dickens. But there has also been an innumerable host of writers who have sought to capture the...
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PRAISE FOR

"In London Stories, the city's sprawling historical and literary landscape is served up in a tidy collection of 26 short works that span four centuries. . . . Jerry White doesn't stint on delivering the goods on London's dark side, which, of course, will delight true London devotees. . . . For the literary-minded traveler, the book is a gold mine." --The New York Times

"The latest of the covetable Everyman Pocket Classics. . . . London Stories boasts 432 rewarding pages. . . . [White] has mixed up these London stories very inventively." --Evening Standard (London)