Santa's Lap: The Revised London Encyclopedia

By M@ Last edited 121 months ago
Santa's Lap: The Revised London Encyclopedia

Every day this month the Londonist team will be pointing you in the direction of a Christmas present that (with a bit of luck) you won't already have on your list. Climb up onto our collective lap and we'll see what we can move from our sack to your stockings...

When Santa got stuck up the chimney, he began to shout,

"This London tome won't find a home if you don't pull me out".

"It's girth is such, I'll need a crutch to prise me from the flue"

"The London Encyclopedia, it's huge, it's new, it's true."

Well, it's not quite as new as our stymied Santa suggests. The London Encyclopedia first blocked the light of day in 1983, with over 1000 pages of alphabetised entries on the history, buildings and people of the capital. A revision followed a decade later, but we've since had to wait 15 years for a further update. In that time, London has changed enormously: the Gherkin, the Dome, the Jubilee extension, the London Eye, Tate Modern, Wobbly Bridge, the London Mayor and Assembly, to name just the obvious. Of the original co-authors, Ben Weinreb died in 1999 and Christopher Hibbert is now in his 80s, so historians John and Julia Keay plus Weinreb's son Matthew came on board to revise the ultimate London tome for the 21st Century. The London Encyclopedia is a mandatory component of any Londonophile's bookcase. Just make sure it's a strong bookcase.

The revised London Encyclopedia, £32.50 on Amazon (hardback).

Last Updated 17 December 2008