Between 1939 and 1945, London and its environs experienced destruction on a huge scale, with air raids and rocket attacks reducing buildings and entire streets to rubble. The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps speak of the human experience of war — of loss and camaraderie, of tragedy and heroism — conjuring up the days of blackout and the 'Spirit of the Blitz'. They tell a story, moreover, that was echoed in towns and cities across Britain and throughout the world.
The maps, meticulously hand-coloured to document the level of damage being wrought, represent a key record of the destruction, the impact of which can still be seen in the capital’s urban and social landscapes. Featuring new, high-quality images of each of the 110 maps that make up the set, complete with archival tables of often grim statistics, this book marks the first time these remarkable documents – part historical artifacts, part social history – have been published for a general audience.
The book also includes a series of extraordinary photographs of the damage done to the City of London in particular, taken with a sympathetic yet unflinching eye by police constables Arthur Cross and Fred Tibbs.
'Though there is no florid prose or gripping anecdotes, these maps are not mute. This A-Z of destruction tells a powerful story'
'A handsome folio … [the maps'] utility has been hugely enhanced by presentation in this new format, spacious, scholarly and visually compelling'
Times Literary Supplement
'This A-Z of atrocity - which includes 70 stunning photographs of the ruined City - has a terrible beauty'
Evening Standard, Books of the Year
'Beautifully designed, with all illustrations, be they the maps, old documents or the photographs reproduced to the absolute highest standard … a pleasure to handle'