Read London Stories by Jerry White William Makepeace Thackeray Hanif Kureishi John Evelyn Henry Mayhew Arthur Conan Doyle George Gissing J.B. Priestley Online


London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place. Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of bLondon has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place. Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of both London life and writing over the past four centuries, from Shakespeare’s day to the present. These are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between, some from well-known voices and others practically unknown. Here are dramatic views of such iconic events as the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz, but also William Thackeray’s account of going to see a man hanged, Thomas De Quincey’s friendship with a teenaged prostitute, and Doris Lessing’s defense of the Underground. This literary London encompasses the famous Baker Street residence of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the bombed-out moonscape of Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime streets, Charles Dicken’s treacherous River Thames and Frederick Treves’s tragic Elephant Man. Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Hanif Kureishi are among the many great writers who give us their varied Londons here, revealing a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)...

Title : London Stories
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375712463
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 429 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

London Stories Reviews

  • J.
    2019-03-22 20:30

    A very dark night it was, and bitter cold; the east wind blowing bleak, and bringing with it stinging particles from marsh, and moor, and fen -- from the Great Desert and Old Egypt, may be. Some of the component parts of the sharp-edged vapour that came flying up the Thames at London might be mummy-dust, dry atoms from the Temple at Jerusalem, camels' foot-prints, crocodiles' hatching places, loosened grains of expression from the visages of blunt-nosed sphynxes, waifs and strays from caravans of turbaned merchants, vegetations from jungles, frozen snow from Himalayas. Oh, it was very dark upon the Thames, and it was bitter bitter cold. Or perhaps not. Dickens in 1853 was keenly aware of the fact that London was the center of the Victorian world, drawing in artifact and influence from all the far corners of the globe. The short stories that comprise London Stories are nearly the exact opposite of that, and attempt not to find a diaspora but a unity in the voices it presents to the reader.Reaching back to the golden eras we get something from Defoe, from De Quincey and Thackeray, from Dickens and a nicely atmospheric Conan Doyle, {The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle}. Interspersed are some less likely suspects, all called as first person witnesses to this enigmatic city, this prosaic businesslike city. Moving along, the 2oth century is acutely observed by Mollie Painter-Downes, Graham Greene, Elizabeth Bowen, all of whom bring the focus, and the wit, to 'razor sharp'. Newer voices are heard, and by this point in the collection it occurred to me: This compilation succeeds not because it gathers disparate voices, but because it works on the principle that London itself has a voice, and it is the sum of the speakers. As much as they tell their own story, what we are listening for here is the voice of London itself. And it's there, threaded through Dickens' scrambled artifacts, as well as the Hanif Kureishi that closes the cover at the end.But there is one last thing, in the double-edged tradition of the city, before it's all over:Paris is a city famed for charm yet practically uncharmable by anything outside its own invention. New York is dazzled by novelty, but competitive and frenetically on the hop, with too much to do to hang around for as long as it takes to be spellbound. London, on the other hand, though it has been battered past being easily impressed, is nevertheless very easily, almost childishly, charmed. It will stop in its tracks for a Canadian circus, say, or an Australian stand-up comic, or an enthusiastic American evangelist, or any other import with the power to beguile. Generally, London behaves very like a man, and, as any woman who has been around will agree, this means that like a man, London prefers being seduced to being seductive. Irma Kurtz, 1997.Well, then. So much for the valentine treatment. Recommended.

  • Stuart
    2019-03-24 22:39

    Another hugely enjoyable entry in this wonderful series. This one benefited, I think, from the inclusion of prose pieces as well as short stories. On such a subject as London there are so many pieces to choose from that there are bound to be omissions that each reader thinks should have been in: for instance, no Betjemen, Nairn, Wodehouse, etc, etc, etc … My only caveat was the inclusion of the Sherlock Holmes story "The Blue Carbuncle" - this has already been in the Christmas stories collection of this series, there are enough stories about London not to duplicate, I do feel a bit cheated. However, this was made up for by the inclusion of the story about transporting a frisky emu from the docks to the suburbs!

  • Sapna Kumar
    2019-04-01 16:15

    A little difficult to get into - but picks up the pace as we enter the later 19th century works to 1999. I really felt like I was being transported through different eras in London's history, simply with short stories that travel through the city's history.

  • Yooperprof
    2019-03-23 19:42

    I'd give it two and a half stars if I could. Other books I feel the same way about, especially anthologies which are a mix and match of genres and approaches. Some of the pieces in this collection are "spot on" and classic examples of "Londoniana." Others had me scratching my head thinking, "well I hope that the Everyman Library didn't have to pay on royalties on THAT one."Surely there are better London anthologies than this one.

  • Valarie Smith
    2019-04-13 23:13

    As an avid Anglophile, I wanted to read this book but also feared it could be overly familiar territory. It was a witty, moving selection, though, that I really enjoyed. I especially loved Treves' The Elephant Man, Alfred Walter Barrett's The Fetching of Susan, Galsworthy 's A Forsyte Encounters the People and Mollie Panter-Downes' Good Evening, Mrs. Craven.

  • Carol
    2019-04-14 17:22

    Excellent collection of short stories about London. I now have a long list of authors to read! I especially enjoyed John Galsworthy, Doris Lessing, and Mollie Panter-Downes.

  • Jill
    2019-04-02 20:41

    An sometimes eclectic collection of excerpts and short stories in chronological order that gives glimpses in to various aspects of London life over the past 400 years.

  • katie
    2019-04-08 17:32

    the fetching of Susan was one of the best stories I've read in a long while. the rest was also thoroughly entertaining, picked with impeccable taste and overall a pleasant read!