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Imagined London by Anna Quindlen
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Imagined London (edition 2004)

by Anna Quindlen

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4041226,397 (3.27)37
Member:Harrod
Title:Imagined London
Authors:Anna Quindlen
Info:National Geographic (2004), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Biography, Travel, London

Work details

Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City by Anna Quindlen

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  1. 00
    The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Two Americans tour the London of literature
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this, especially because I was just home from my own trip to London. The author mentions and even quotes lots of my favorite books set in London, but the book seems to have no organizing principle. Occasionally she'd talk about one writer or one neighborhood for a few pages, or the dramatic rebuilding of London after the war, but not consistently. She wanders cheerfully from topic to topic.

I kept thinking of all the children's books I've read that were set in London! ( )
  Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
Enjoyed all the literary references. Interesting and fun book. ( )
  Harrod | Dec 8, 2012 |
A fun little book comparing fictional and real London. Cute. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Oct 3, 2011 |
I fully expected to breeze through this little book and totally love it. Sometimes life doesn't turn out as you expect and this was just one of those times. The beginning was wonderful as is the concept, but the execution just didn't enthrall me. I never felt I'd returned to the London of the past that I met through my books, or the London I lived in myself in the 70's or visited in the 80's. There were some great references, and I know Quindlen loves this city as much as I do (indeed, I'm always amazed when I find someone who doesn't love London.) And though my introduction to London came from writers of the past, it is via present day writers (and Dr Who) that I am able to visit the city again and discover it's current day vibrancy.

Still this was an interesting exercise from one of my favorite authors, and fun to sit on Quindlen's shoulder to hear her comments when she reads some of the greats. ( )
  bookczuk | Mar 3, 2011 |
I've long been a fan of Anna Quindlen's fiction and essays, but this book was a bit of a hard slog. The book is a series of reflections on literary London, the London that appears in some of the world's great literature (Dickens figures heavily here, among others), and how that compares with the real London of today. This would be a great read for an Anglophile who had read all the authors cited within. Unfortunately, I can't really lay claim to either, other than having read a few Dickens books and making vague plans to travel to London some day. I did particularly like her vocabulary exploration, near the end of the book, of colorful Englishisms, some of which I knew from my own readings, and many of which were delightful and new. In the best of possible worlds, Quindlen would offer to be my tour guide when I visit London someday. ( )
  burnit99 | Jan 27, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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For Amanda Urban, in lieu - at least for now - of a mews house
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On a rather mild early morning in 1995, a taxi pulled up t oone of the low flat-faced old buildings that make up most of the block of Dean Street just south of Shaftesbury Aveune in London.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0792242076, Paperback)

Anna Quindlen first visited London from a chair in her suburban Philadelphia home—in one of her beloved childhood mystery novels. She has been back to London countless times since, through the pages of books and in person, and now, in Imagined London, she takes her own readers on a tour of this greatest of literary cities.

While New York, Paris, and Dublin are also vividly portrayed in fiction, it is London, Quindlen argues, that has always been the star, both because of the primacy of English literature and the specificity of city descriptions. She bases her view of the city on her own detailed literary map, tracking the footsteps of her favorite characters: the places where Evelyn Waugh's bright young things danced until dawn, or where Lydia Bennett eloped with the dastardly Wickham.

In Imagined London, Quindlen walks through the city, moving within blocks from the great books of the 19th century to the detective novels of the 20th to the new modernist tradition of the 21st. With wit and charm, Imagined London gives this splendid city its full due in the landscape of the literary imagination.

Praise for Imagined London:

"Shows just how much a reading experience can enrich a physical journey." —New York Times Book Review

"An elegant new work of nonfiction... People will be inspired by this book." —Ann Curry, Today

"An affectionate, richly allusive tribute to the city." —Kirkus Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This book is a tale of three cities: the fictional London that lives in the pages of writers from Shakespeare to P. D. James and Martin Amis; the historical metropolis where so many immortal authors have made their homes; and the vibrant capital that today welcomes visitors from all over the world. Anna Quindlen evokes all three as she travels from Sherlock Holmes's digs at 221b Baker Street (as real an imaginary address as there ever was), to Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey, a memorial to the greatest writers of our language, to Hyde Park Gate, the genteel neighborhood from which Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga unfolds. We stroll through elegant squares that summon the ghosts of characters from Thackeray and Trollope, and pause at a pub whose ornate sign would be familiar to anyone - real or fictional - from Shakespeare's era to today." "At once a tribute to one of the world's greatest cities and a freewheeling celebration of the rich literature it has inspired, this is a writer's vision of a world both imagined and utterly true - all gathered, refracted, and reflected in a magical mirror called London."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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