Going Underground

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Crossrail, which will eventually come to be known as the Elizabeth Line, is currently an accursed presence in central London, the most massive obstruction to traffic in an agglomeration doldrummed by such obstructions. The area around Centre Point is perpetually chaotic. Gillian Tindall’s

Migrating Monoliths

Posted on by Tom Fleming

This book’s title suggests an admirable aspiration to present a fascinating subject in both a scholarly and an accessible style. Bob Brier is billed as ‘a world-famous Egyptologist’. His books include The Murder of Tutankhamen and Ancient Egyptian Magic, and he has hosted television programmes on ancient Egypt. Unmentioned in the author’s biography is his […]

Current Affairs

Posted on by Tom Fleming

It is the nature of estuaries to be deeply mysterious and very hard to know. Taking from both the river and the sea, they belong to neither. They form their own world in which fresh and salt water are forever churning. The dry land with its human settlements contains the estuary, but its essence is […]

The Battle of Big Ben

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Architects rarely live in houses they have designed themselves. The avant-garde modernist Berthold Lubetkin, for instance, planned the pioneering new town of Peterlee from an old farm in rural Gloucestershire. George Gilbert Scott, that eminent Victorian campaigner for Gothic architecture, designed many of his neo-medieval buildings while living in a well-appointed Georgian terrace. And small […]

Charting the Capital

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Six years ago the British Library put on a much appreciated exhibition of maps of London curated by the head of its map collections, Peter Barber. At the same time, it published a book by Peter Whitfield that, though ostensibly on the same subject, was in no sense a catalogue of the exhibition. Running these […]

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