Harry Mount

Sublime to the Ridiculous

Greater London: The Story of the Suburbs

By

Random House 578pp £25 order from our bookshop

Great Houses of London

By

Frances Lincoln 328pp £40 order from our bookshop

These days, more than 80 per cent of us live in the suburbs, even the Queen. In 1981 her cousin, the Hon Margaret Rhodes, then living in Devon, was looking after her husband, who had cancer and needed to be close to a London hospital. ‘I was up at Balmoral and we were riding on the hill ponies,’ Rhodes recalled. ‘She turned round in the saddle and said, “How would you like to live in suburbia?”’ The Rhodeses soon moved to the Garden House in Windsor Great Park, just down the road from one of the world’s top suburban castles.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,
    • RT : Joanna Kavenna’s ‘Cooking with Trotsky’s Frying Pan’ in June’s is the most well written and interesting… ,