Spitalfields Life, Hardback book

Spitalfields Life: In The Midst Of Life I Woke To Find Myself Living In An Old House Beside Brick Lane In The East End Of London[Hardback]

by The Gentle Author

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Hodder & Stoughton General Division 
Publication Date:
01 March 2012 
Places & peoples 


"I am going to write every single day and tell you about my life here in Spitalfields at the heart of London..." Drawing comparisons with Pepys, Mayhew and Dickens, the gentle author of Spitalfields Life has gained an extraordinary following in recent years, by writing hundreds of lively pen portraits of the infinite variety of people who live and work in the East End of London. Everything you seek in London can be found here - street life, street art, markets, diverse food, immigrant culture, ancient houses and history, pageants and parades, rituals and customs, traditional trades and old family businesses. Spend a night in the bakery at St John, ride the rounds with the Spitalfields milkman, drop in to the Golden Heart for a pint, meet a fourth-generation paper bag seller, a mudlark who discovers treasure in the river Thames, a window cleaner who sees ghosts and a master bell-founder whose business started in 1570. Join the bunny girls for their annual reunion, visit the wax sellers of Wentworth Street and discover the site of Shakespeare's first theatre. All of human life is here in Spitalfields Life.

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  • Spitalfields Life collects a treasure trove of blogs written by the "Gentle Author". Each chapter is a miniature portrait of a person, a place, a community in the area. As you'd expect, this book is steeped as much in history as the modern era; there are some truly fascinating, peculiar, and kindly humorous stories contained in here. What was more interesting still were the pictures painted of jobs and ways of life that are practically invisible on the surface of things. It's really something you have to read to get the full expression and impression of this place and these people. It is a work of wonderfully compact social history. In its own way, it is rather Dickensian, a little E.P. Thompson, and a little Eastenders. To top that, the writing is gentle, amusing and inquisitive. All Boroughs of London (and, perhaps, all places) deserve such a book (!).

    out of 5


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