What's The Best Non-Fiction Book About London?

By M@ Last edited 152 months ago
What's The Best Non-Fiction Book About London?

If you've ever perused the London section of a local bookshop, you'll have some appreciation for just how many volumes about the capital are currently in print. (A point Christopher Fowler was making only a few days ago.) There are hundreds of the blighters. We even wrote our own guide to London a few years back, not that you'd have noticed it among the boundless lesser other volumes.

So where to start? Londonist M@ has compiled a list of his top 15 non-fiction books about the capital using Amazon's Listmania (definitely not to be confused with Leishmania). Sadly, there seems to be no way to embed it, so we've retyped the list below. You'll have to click through to find out why we think these tomes deserve their places. (And, yes, M@ really has read all of these cover to cover, including numbers 1 and 8.)

  1. London the Encyclopaedia, Christopher Hibbert, et al.
  2. Night Haunts,  Sukhdev Sandhu
  3. London the Biography, Peter Ackroyd
  4. Lights Out for the Territory, Iain Sinclair
  5. London: A Social History, Roy Porter
  6. Lost London: 1870-1945, Philip Davies
  7. In Search of London, H.V. Morton
  8. The Annals of London, John Richardson
  9. Mapping London, Simon Foxell
  10. Medical London, Richard Barnett
  11. London Lore, Steve Roud
  12. The Times History of London, Hugh Clout
  13. Secret London - An Unusual Guide, Rachel Howard
  14. Subterranean City, Antony Clayton
  15. Violent London, Clive Bloom

Nominate your own favourites in the comments below, preferably with an Amazon link so we can scrape together a few affiliate-deal pennies for a cup of tea.

Update: (3 February) Londonophile Peter Watts has responded to this list by creating his own.

Last Updated 01 February 2011