The Times Picture Collection: London by Ian Harrison
A new paperback edition of this classic photographic portrait of this great city, which captures the changing face of the capital through the 20th century.
Long gone are the days when being a Londoner meant being born within the sound of Bow Bells. London as a city, a place in which to live and work, has attracted peple from all over the country and all over the world, giving it possibly the most ethnically diverse population of any city worldwide.
Architecturally, London has undergone two catastrophic changes that have changed its skyline forever. One was the Great Fire of London, which gave the city the basic shape that it had at the beginning of the 20th century; the other was the Blitz - photographs from before and after the war show an enormous amount of change. Forty years later came the less traumatic but almost as widescale changes wrought by the Thatcherite spending spree in the City and Docklands during the 1980s, and the picture of London towards the end of the 20th century was one of accelerating change.
Accompanied by Ian Harrison's insightful text, the photographs include such immediately recognisable London icons as the black cab, the routemaster bus and the Underground map; 20th-century landmarks featured include Battersea Power Station, Canary Wharf, and the London Eye; images of key London events throughout the century portray, for example, Coronations, Royal Weddings, the funeral of Diana, and the Millennium party. Ordinary Londoners are pictured at work and at play, while the multicultural nature of London is evidenced in the street markets, the rough sleepers, the commuters, and the population eating and drinking in the bars and cafes - the sum, a fascinating portrait of London in all its glory.