364th out of 671 books — 429 voters
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Spitalfields Life: In the Midst of Life I Woke to Find Myself Living in an Old House Beside Brick Lane in the East End of London
"In the midst of life I woke to find myself living in an old house beside Brick Lane in the East End of London.""I am going to write every single day and tell you about my life here in Spitalfields at the heart of London."Drawing comparisons with Pepys, Mayhew, and Dickens, the gentle author of Spitalfields Lifebloghas gained an extraordinary following in recent years, by ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Saltyard Books
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I found this while browsing in Foyles one afternoon. Leafing through it in the shop, my first thought was that it looked very pretty and very interesting and there were lots of photos and I couldn’t remember the last book I read which was printed in double columns, newsprint-style. My second thought was to wonder why I would want to read a book which was only a series of vignettes and profiles based around an area of London which I’ve visited maybe once, given that I live at the opposite side of ...more
There is nothing in the known universe to prepare an unsuspecting reader for the sheer saccharine horror of this thing. Twee, half-baked observations written in cloying prose that would make a jackal gag. Only for people who think that the East End of London has no politics, no conflict, no problem with property developers from The City ripping its heart out. And it helps if you think industrial London is five minutes from the Cotswolds. The Gentle Author should be suspended from a picturesque w ...more
I stumbled across this book by accident and was so glad I did. The Gentle Author, who remains anonymous but is definitely a woman, paints an evocative and compelling picture of the East End of London. Spitalfields is cleverly brought to life through the rich and diverse tales of its inhabitants. I found myself wanting to track down and interview each person myself and, more importantly, support their businesses, many of which have run for generations. I am a huge fan of London and particularly t ...more
Interesting glimpses into Spitalfields Live's past and present. Beautifully designed and easily readable one to two/three page biogs/histories making an easy nightime or casual read. Go back to it again and again. For anyone with an interest in London history.
The best book on London I've read. TGA writes sympathetically about a year in the life of the East End...moving between the East End that is dying out, the East End that has already gone and the one that has sprung up in its place.