A walk along any London street takes you past a wealth of seemingly ordinary buildings: an Edwardian church, modernist postwar council housing, stuccoed Italianate terraces, a Bauhaus-inspired library. But these buildings are not just functional. They are evidence of London’s rich and diverse history and have shaped people’s experiences, identities, and relationships.
In this engaging study, Paul L. Knox traces the history of London from the Georgian era to the present day through twenty-five surviving buildings. Knox explores where people lived and worked, from grand Regency squares to Victorian workshops, and highlights the impact of migration, gentrification, and inequality. We see famous buildings, like Harrods and Abbey Road Studios, and everyday places like Rochelle Street School and Thamesmead.
Each historical period has introduced new buildings, and old ones have been repurposed. As Knox shows, it is the living history of these buildings that makes up the vibrant, but exceptionally unequal, city of today.