Home - Books - London General

In Association with
London history books, London guide books, guides, local interest books

We have chosen books on general London history and guides from Amazon's vast selection of books on all subjects. If you know of a book not featured here, e-mail us and we will be happy to add it to this list.

Click on the title to buy the book. Click on the image to see a bigger picture of the book cover.

Recent releases:

London Biography London: the Biography by Peter Ackroyd

When the eminent novelist and biographer Peter Ackroyd finished writing London: The Biography, he almost immediately had a heart attack, such was the effort of his 800-page work about the "human body" that is this most fascinating of cities. And not just any human body either, but "envisaged in the form of a young man with his arms outstretched in a gesture of liberation ... it embodies the energy and exaltation of a city continually beating in great waves of progress and of confidence". Probably there is no one better placed than Ackroyd--the author of mammoth lives of Dickens and Blake, and novels such as Hawksmoor and Dan Leno and the Lime House Golem which set singular characters against the backdrop of a city constantly shifting in time--to write such a rich, sinewy account of "Infinite London". Ackroyd's London is no mere chronology. Its chapters take on such varied themes as drinking, sex, childhood, poverty, crime and punishment, sewage, food, pestilence and fire, immigration, maps, theatre, war. We learn that gin was "the demon of London for half a century", and that "it has been estimated that in the 1740s and 1750s there were 17,000 'gin-houses'". Fleet Street was an area known for its "violent delights" where "a fourteen-year-old boy, only eighteen inches high, was to be seen in 1702 at a grocer's shop called the Eagle and Child by Shoe Lane". By the mid 19th-century "London had become known as the greatest city on earth". By 1939 "one in five of the British population had become a Londoner".

Time Out London Guide
"Time Out" London Guide

Revised and updated by a London-based team of writers and researchers, this guide is packed with up-to-the-minute listings information and informed critical comment on all that London has to offer.

City Secrets: London
City Secrets: London by Robert Kahn

City Secrets: London is the third book in the intriguing City Secrets series, published by the Little Bookroom, an American sister company of Granta. The idea behind the books was to develop an anecdotal guide by London's writers, artists, historians and designers and to reveal favourite hidden corners as well as giving new insights on well-known places.
As in the much-acclaimed City Secrets: Rome and City Secrets: Florence, Venice and the Towns of Italy, the quirkiness and individuality of the approach pays dividends here. The biographer and critic Fiona McCarthy gives a cogent and evocative essay about the Freud Museum in Finchley where Freud lived after his last-ditch flight from the Nazis, while interior decorator David Mlinaric is equally intriguing discussing London Underground design, which he conjures in an essay that will send readers out to discover the work of Eric Gill and Eduardo Paolozzi (whose mosaic murals may be found at Tottenham Court Road station). And journalist Ruth Pavey will have many of us up at 4am visiting Hampstead Heath to enjoy the dawn chorus and the bat walks: hers is one of the most fascinating essays in this invaluable little book. Part of the appeal of this series is its steadfast refusal to visit well-trodden paths; where it intersects with the more familiar guidebooks, there is always an idiosyncratic approach that marks it out as something much more interesting

Secret London
Secret London  Andrew Duncan

This text strips away the bricks, mortar and tarmac to uncover London's hidden landscape. Featuring hidden treasures such as the government's vast system of offices and tunnels under Whitehall, the book includes opening times, addresses, maps, photographs and anecdotes.

A History of London
A History of London by Stephen Inwood

To some it is a city of unmatched beauty and infinite friendship; to others a vision of hell or a bottomless well of loneliness. This book provides readers with an insight into London's history from the fires and plundering of Londinium to the swinging art, music and politics of the last 30 years.

More London Books:

Walks in London
25 Walks: in and Around London by Andrew McCloy

The walks contrast the pageant and history of the city centre with the country parks, open spaces and green hideaways around its fringe.

London by tube
Collins London by Tube

MAIN FEATURES This handy pocket sized spiral atlas is designed for those who travel around London using the Underground system. It is equally useful for commuters, business people, visitors and tourists. The product simplifies the process of using the London Underground by listing and indexing all the street names and places of interest in central London to their nearest tube station. These streets and places are then referenced to a map centred on the tube station. The mapped area around each tube station extends to one mile so that all locations shown are within half a mile of the station and therefore within easy walking distance. INCLUDES - Detailed maps showing streets and important places within walking distance of the nearest tube station - Exits from tube stations clearly shown - Tube stations colour coded to show connecting lines WHO PRODUCT IS AIMED AT Specifically aimed at visitors who plan to travel by tube, showing all the places which can be easily visited on foot from each of the Underground stations

Country Walks Around London
Country Walks Around London by Geoff Garvey et al.

A collection of 25 walks based on the London Transport system. Located in a fairly even spread around the capital, alternative routes are given so that the length can be varied. The guide includes details of places to visit, history, how to get there from the city, and where to eat and drink.

  Discovering London Plaques by Derek Sumeray.

All London's commemorative plaques are recorded in this book with a brief history of the person or event noted on the plaques. Indexes refer to streets, postal code areas & vocations.

Edward Wssex's Crown and Country
Edward Wessex's Crown and Country by Edward Wessex.

In this text, HRH Prince Edward takes the reader on a journey through the history of London's royal connections and explains the architectural heritage of some of the world's most cherished royal landmarks.

Gilbert and Sullivan's London
Gilbert and Sullivan's London by Andrew Goodman, Mike Leigh.

Moving around London, backwards and forwards in time, the author unfolds the story of Gilbert and Sullivan in the places where they lived and worked. In doing so the text recalls the grandeur of the city's entertainment palaces, its atmospheric nightlife, and its squalor and splendour.

 Western Region Steam Around London
Glory Days: Western Region Steam Around London by Kevin McCormack.

McCormack recalls the period in the late 1950s and early 1960s when steam was still the dominant form of motive power on the Western Region but was recognised as being under threat. The book explores the varied Western Region operations during the last decades of steam operation on the main lines into London. In the GLORY DAYS series.

Great Weekend in London

A Great Weekend In: London by De Haro

Major international cities easily reachable by plane or train. Packed with recommendations for hotels, restaurants, cafis, shops and places to see, with addresses, opening times and descriptions. Easy to use area-by-area presentation. Sightseeing, restaurant and shopping recommendations all contained within the same spread - no need to cross reference. Detailed shopping guide with addresses and opening times - more than any other guide Extremely competitive price and very manageable pocket/handbag format.

The London Encyclopaedia
The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb, Christopher Hibbert (Editor)

A revised and updated reference book, comprised of 5000 entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced. Everything that is important in the history and culture of London is documented, from its first settlement to the present day.

London and North Western Railway by M.C. Reed

An illustrated history of the London and North Western Railway, which provides an insight into the workings of a company that at one time had the largest locomotive fleet, the greatest number of staff and the highest proportion of quadruple track.

London Suburbs by Andrew Smart(Editor), Andrew Saint (Introduction)

From a Utopian ideal to the reality of the late 20th century, this book raises questions about the continuing attempt to link the city with the country.

  London Villages by John Wittich.
  The Lost Rivers of London by Nicholas Barton
Ordnace Survey Cycle Tours: Around London
Ordnance Survey Cycle Tours: Around London by Nick Cotton (Editor)

A guide to 14 on-road and ten off-road cycle tours in the London area, highlighted on Ordnance Survey Landranger mapping at a scale of 1:50,000, with directions alongside. Additional information includes an introduction to the locality of each route, places of interest, and refreshment stops.

in and around London
Pathfinder: In and Around London by Brian Conduit

A guide to 28 walks in the London area, within the M25 motorway. All walks contain directions, maps, and photographs and are graded according to difficulty. Includes information on public transport to reach the starting point and details of refreshment stops en route.

Walking Village London
Walking Village London : Original Walks Through 25 London Villages by Andrew Duncan

Many of London's rural villages have disappeared into the urban sprawl, but some have retained their character and appearance. The best 22 of these are included in this walking guide. Each walk consists of a scene-setting historical and descriptive introduction, followed by a guided walk containing full directions and details on features encountered "en route". The walks are about two or three miles long and take on average a couple of hours. Each entry has its own map showing the route of the walk, landmarks, places of interest described in the text, places to eat and drink, and locations of public toilets. Listings at the back of the book give opening times of churches and other buildings, and in the case of museums and historic houses, brief descriptions of contents.