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Landlords to London was originally published in 1975, the first book by Simon Jenkins, later to be editor of the London Evening Standard and the Times, and in 2008 the Chairman on the National Trust. The book is a collective biography of the men who mapped out the metropolis of London as we see it today – also the story of the people of London, who have never sat idly by any argument over ‘their’ city.
The Great Estates of London were carved out of the fields surrounding the medieval City and made their owners fabulously rich, but led also to a remarkable flowering of urban design in the squares, crescents and terraces of Bloomsbury, Belgravia, Islington, Kensington et al. These wealthy families are shadowy figures in London’s history, but Simon Jenkins brings their tastes and endeavours to light, while also recording the popular protests and petitions that have led to the ceaseless reform, revision, conservation and regeneration of London’s landscape and skyline.
‘Extremely informative and witty.’ Roy Porter, London: A Social History
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