The Oxford Book Of London
All great cities inspire great literature but no other city has so consistently stimulated the literary imagination as London. Over the centuries writer, poets, historians, artists, and simple observers have chronicled the life and growth of the capital from its humble beginnings to the teeming metropolis it is today. In his sparkling anthology Paul Bailey has captured the essence of its allure for visitors and inhabitants from the Middle Ages to the present day with wit, humour, and pathos. Among the many contributors are those whose evocations of the city have forever fixed in the popular mind: Charles Dickens's descriptions of fog-bound London streets; Ben Jonson's satires on London low-life; Wordsworth rhapsodizing on the view from Westminster Bridge: George Bernard Shaw's archetypal cockney, Eliza Doolittle. Less well known but equally vivid are descriptions of the down-and-out and the aristocrat, of the museums, theatres, galleries and churches, the restaurants and pubs, the parks and institutions, the topography of London mapped out in unforgettable verse and prose. This book is intended for general anthology buyers, readers interested in the literature, history, and allure of London, tourists, fans of Paul Bailey.