The Story of the Suburbs
A major new history of London's suburbs
Most histories of London either pay only cursory attention to the suburbs or ignore them altogether. By looking at the whole of the Greater London area from Roman times to the present, however, Dr Nick Barratt not only shows how areas as far apart as Hendon and Streatham, Ealing and Leytonstone developed over hundreds of years but also demonstrates the crucial role they played in the creation of the capital.
Starting in the first century AD, he shows how the villages and settlements of the Thames Valley developed and how they were shaped by their proximity to the city. He describes the first suburbs to sprawl beyond the city walls, and traces the ebb and flow of population as people moved in to find jobs or away to escape London's noise and bustle. And he charts the rapid growth that followed the coming of the railways, the fight to preserve green spaces, the impact of war and immigration, and the very varied nature of London's suburbs today.
Magnificently illustrated throughout, this is the essential history for anyone who lives - or has ever lived - in London.
“A superb work of research and is clearly and entertainingly written, sometimes intimidating in its attention to detail, but rarely dry”
“A far-reaching, in-depth yet broadly-based history of London ... You don't have to be a Londoner to enjoy this heroic tale of people - and bricks and train-tracks triumphing to the detriment of green space”
“Barratt brilliantly tells the stories of the capital’s historical communities.”
PD Smith, Guardian
“Packed with fascinating detail.”
Chris Blackhurst, Evening Standard
“A masterful social history of London’s suburbs”
Your Family Tree magazine
“Enjoyable and fact-packed book”
Kensington and Chelsea Today