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85 stories old and new

By John O'London
ISBN 9781873590270
Old House Books*

184 Pages
5.5 X 6.5


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Price $ 22.75 

These stories first appeared as magazine articles before the First World War. During the previous century travel had become the great occupation. Whether a Grand Tour of Europe's finest cities or a mere train journey out of London to the coast of Kent it was now possible for everyone and a plethora of guide books appeared. But they all concentrated on the places and not on the people. John O' London (a pen name which says it all!) recognised that nowhere is anywhere without the people who lived there and the extraordinary happenings, traditions and curiosities that coloured their lives. He introduces us to The Duke of Wellington's outspoken boot maker, the 'apple woman' who annexed Hyde Park and the recluse who weighed the world. We read of the curious wanderings of Cromwell's head, the semaphore system which sent signals from the Admiralty to Deal in less than a minute, a fatal duel fought in Kensington for the most absurd reason. We hear of a fire at Drury Lane Theatre, military executions in Hyde Park, visit Dr Johnson's favourite pub and read a letter to The Times that prompted the building of Nelson's column. London Stories is a cornucopia of anecdotal gems that allow us to wander through the past and meet some of the people who helped define the greatest city the world had ever seen.