Lived in London: Blue Plaques and the Stories Behind Them (Hardback)
by Emily Cole
|Format:||Hardback 656 pages|
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This attractive, lively and comprehensive book tells the stories behind 800 of the capital's plaques. Arranged geographically - by borough and area - it is the first published guide to London's plaques for over half a century to be compiled with the aid of the official local government and English Heritage files. It features new research on the people and buildings that have been commemorated, both of which are extraordinarily diverse. Over the course of its history, London - which Benjamin Disraeli described as a 'roost for every bird' - has been home to figures as varied as Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf, Mahatma Gandhi and Jimi Hendrix, all of whom were influenced by the homes and areas in which they lived.London's blue plaques scheme, founded in 1866, is the oldest of its kind in the world; it has been run successively by the (Royal) Society of Arts, the London County Council, the Greater London Council and English Heritage, which took over the scheme in 1986. Originally envisaged as a means of making 'our houses their own biographers', the scheme aims to commemorate the link between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked. It is a uniquely successful means of connecting people and place, drawing out the human element of the historic environment, and has helped to save a number of London's buildings from demolition. Driven by the general public, the scheme remains hugely popular, and has been imitated around the globe."Lived in London" provides the perfect introduction to the many people and buildings honoured under the scheme, and also celebrates the plaques themselves, wonderful objects that have - over the course of the last 140 years - been manufactured by firms such as Minton, Doulton and Poole. By drawing out London's historic associations, they enliven the streetscape and serve to bring us into direct contact with the past, opening a window into another time by showing us where the great and the good have penned their masterpieces, developed new technologies, lived or died.
Yale University Press
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