David R. Godine's Reviews > London 1753

London 1753 by Sheila O'Connell
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's review
Oct 19, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: history

"O'Connell and her colleagues at the British Museum have produced an exemplary work offering insight into London in 1753, the year the museum was established; it holds a masterly collection of materials from across the empire. Much of the collection comes from imperialistic plunder, such as the famed Elgin Marbles. Be that as it may, it is splendid, as any visitor can attest. This year, the museum celebrates its 250th anniversary. O'Connell, the late preeminent medical historian Porter, and other historians contribute essays and extensive captions to the illustrations in their specialized fields. Fox was the keeper of paintings, prints, and drawings at the Museum of London, while Hyde was keeper of prints and maps at the Guildhall Library. Together they have assembled a wide-ranging exhibition of materials from the collection that shows the city of London as it was in 1753. The text is divided into the city's five major districts at the time (the old City of London, Covent Garden, Westminster, Mayfair, and Chelsea). Each district is explored and represented by an incredible collection of ephemera (mainly printed) that include decorative artifacts, coins, trade cards, pub signs, prints, engravings, and more. The populace from the monarchy to the underclass are thoroughly presented. The illustrations, time line, and bibliography should certainly be of considerable interest to researchers of the period. Highly recommended for any library with a British history collection"
-Gail Benjafield, Library Journal

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