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London Revealed by John Freeman
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London Revealed

by John Freeman

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This is a favorite book on London. I is a book of intimate wonderful photographs of unusual London interiors by a very talented photographer . The text is secondary to the clear coloured photographs often taken from unusual angles. The book preserves London at a particular moment in time , namely the 1980s. It is a London that is rich plush , very traditional interiors . You get the feeling that it is a London that will always be there but to be realistic perhaps much has changed in the intervening 20 + years . Architctural peculiarities and features such as fine wood work, decorative finishes, ceilings and stained glass windows are often focal points, Many of these places are not accessible to the tourist or even the resident of London or if they are accessible , admission will require some effort and planning . It is a book that covers state buildings, hotels, clubs, museums , a synagogue, a mosque, schools, private homes , galleries, a shopping emporium and even a houseboat . But the obvious buildings are not covered or if included its with a view to lighting the hidden secret corners. ( eg the V and A Museum ).

The secret and private lives of London life , people, and living are revealed . The eccentric and fhe unusual history of London has been traced with a loving eye by John Feeeman. The organization of the book is quirky but works . The Grand Scale covers very public spaces such as the Royal Albert Hall or Harrods Food Hall, or Syon or Osterley or the Dorchester Hotel . People are important only in relation to the architectural spaces they have created. For Freeman style and the period of a particular place which is central in the eye of the photographer. I also own his book on Moscow which is an equal favourite.

Strange places frozen in time is the theme of the section Moments Preserved . Privatd lives enables you to be a guest in a number of homes and clubs . the ornate and the heavily decorative feature in the section on the decorative tradition . Art Deco London and the classically modern features in the final 20th century section . Each section has a page of small black and white photos of the exteriors of the featured interiors ; this is a useful contextual device but the little inset photos are too small and too limited . What amazes me about London is that London is a city of constant discovery and rediscovery ; the back streets , hallways, and the interiors reveal a richness and that layering of social history . I have never lived in London but short visits and stays in different suburbs has given me endless pleasures and insights into London, the city to die in. I am never in London for long enough but always there for long enough to want to return and discover more. This is a book that sharpens one awareness of the splendor within , in London interiors. It is a book that enhances any London library (ie collections of books about London ) it earns my five stars . Bravo. ( )
  Africansky1 | May 12, 2013 |
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