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April 7, 2011 / Leo Hollis

Publication day


Today is pub day for the Stones of London: A History in Twelve Buildings.

Here’s the blurb:

In a sweeping narrative, from its mythic origins to the glittering towers of the contemporary financial capital, THE STONES OF LONDON tells the story of twelve London buildings in a kaleidoscopic and unexpected history of one of the world’s most enigmatic cities. From the Roman forum to the Gherkin, Regent Street to the East End, the Houses of Parliament to Greenwich Palace, London’s buildings are testament to the richness of its past. Behind the facades of these buildings lie the stories of the people, ideas and events that took place within them and that caused their creation. Above all this will be a very human story, of the men and women who dreamed and lived their lives in London, leaving their imprint upon the fabric of the capital: the mythological descendant of Aeneas, who sailed to Albion having been visited by the Goddess Diana in a dream; the king who wanted a palace to rival Louis XIV’s Versailles; the West Indian heiress who commissioned the most sublime interior of the eighteenth century; the Prince Regent whose indecision on where to site his palace transformed the West End; the architect who went mad in pursuit of his gothic vision; how the East End was transformed out of the devastation of the Blitz; and how we are today planning the future by transforming the past

And the reviews so far have been pretty good:

Stories within stories tumble out like Russian dolls. By the end one has met many interesting characters and almost inadvertently absorbed vast amounts about the creation, buildings and streets of London…most entertaining…splendid, generous and engrossing book.’ Sunday Telegraph

Hollis holds these disparate elements together with skill, constructing with the stones of London a story that is much greater than the sum of it’s parts. . . .by the end The Stones of London develops into more that a history book. Literary Review


you can buy it here if you like:



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