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London A to Z

John Metcalf

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Originally published in 1953, a charmingly idiosyncratic A–Z of London in coronation year, decorated throughout with Edward Bawden’s distinctive illustrations


First published in 1953, the year that saw thousands descend on London to watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, London A to Z is a lexicon of the city’s curiosities, from the Achilles statue in Hyde Park ‘erected by the women of England to honour (if not to resemble) the Duke of Wellington’, via greyhound racing, lost property offices and umbrellas, to zebra crossings (relative newcomers to London in 1953).

Adorned throughout with Edward Bawden’s beautiful and distinctive illustrations, this charmingly idiosyncratic guide brings to life with a dry humour the London and Londoners of the day. More than sixty years have passed since it was first published, and while many sights are now lost to time, this vintage guide continues to capture London in all its uniqueness.

Now with a new introduction by Peyton Skipwith, a longstanding friend of Edward Bawden, here is highly enjoyable reading for every metropolitan!

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'A beautiful little book … very handsome'
Robert Elms Show, BBC Radio London

'The vintage London guidebook every mayor should read '

'Off-beat and beautifully illustrated '
Lonely Planet Traveller

'Essential reading for every metropolitan explorer '
Art Book Review

'Idiosyncratic and delightful guide that reminds us that, beneath today s hectic sprawl, the spirit of London lives on '
Country & Town House

'Shows just how much the city has changed '
Easyjet Traveller Magazine

'Heaped high with wit'
The Londonist

'Good advice, all of it '
Times Literary Supplement

'A beautifully illustrated guide'
Good Things Magazine

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 17.9 x 11.0 cm

Extent: 152 pp

Publication date: 4 April 2016

ISBN: 9780500292471

About the Author

John Metcalf wrote this version of London A-Z in 1953 on the occasion of the Coronation of Elizabeth II.

Edward Bawden (1903-1989) is one of Great Britain’s – if not the world’s – best-loved illustrators and printmakers. He illustrated scores of books and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, the Leicester Galleries and, from 1968, at The Fine Art Society.

List of Contributors

Edward Bawden, Peyton Skipwith

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