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    London Under (Hardback) By (author) Peter Ackroyd

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    DescriptionFrom the author of the bestselling London: The Biography, a poetic and powerful urban history of life and legend beneath London London Under is a wonderful, atmospheric, imaginative, oozing short study of everything that goes on under London, from original springs and streams and Roman amphitheatres to Victorian sewers, gang hideouts and modern Tube stations. The depth below is hot, warmer than the surface, and tunnels down through the geological layers, meeting the creatures that dwell in darkness, real and fictional - rats and eels, monsters and ghosts. There is a Bronze Age trackway under the Isle of Dogs, Anglo-Saxon graves were found under St Paul's, and the monastery of Whitefriars lies beneath Fleet Street. In Kensal Green cemetery a hydraulic device lowered bodies into the catacombs below - 'Welcome to the lower depths' - while a door in the plinth of the statue of Boadicea on Westminster Bridge leads to a huge tunnel, packed with cables for gas, water and telephone lines. When the Metropolitan Line was opened in 1864 the guards asked for permission to grow beards to protect themselves against the sulphurous fumes, and called their engines by the names of tyrants - Czar, Kaiser, Mogul - and even Pluto, god of the underworld. 'The vastness of the space, a second earth,' writes Peter Ackroyd, 'elicits sensations of wonder and of terror. It partakes of myth and dream in equal measure.' Going under London is to penetrate history, to enter a hidden world.


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  • Full bibliographic data for London Under

    Title
    London Under
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Peter Ackroyd
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 208
    Width: 144 mm
    Height: 204 mm
    Thickness: 22 mm
    Weight: 303 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780701169916
    ISBN 10: 0701169915
    Classifications

    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBKESL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.2
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD1
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 942.1
    LC subject heading:
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15510
    BIC subject category V2: 1DBKESL
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BIC subject category V2: HBC
    Thema V1.0: NHD
    Illustrations note
    Illustrations
    Publisher
    VINTAGE
    Imprint name
    CHATTO & WINDUS
    Publication date
    07 April 2011
    Publication City/Country
    London
    Author Information
    Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake, Wilkie Collins and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.
    Review quote
    "This book is not a straightforward history of London's relationship with the clay on which it stands but a poetic invoking of what Ackroyd perceives as the diabolic terror of the earth." "--Metro"" ""Other worlds lurk below London, and Ackroyd revels in them. The book is both an absorbing history of those parts of the capital that lie beneath our feet and a meditation on the meaning we give them." --Adrian Tinniswood, "Literary Review" "A literary, cultural and topographical sat-nav for going underground in London... With quick, deft stitches he sews the fantastical and the familiar into a macabre sampler of the city that exists beneath the feet of its citizens." --"The Times"