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Beyond the Tower

A History of East London

John Marriott

View Inside Price: $40.00


November 27, 2012
440 pages, 5 13/16 x 9
50 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300187755
Paper

Also Available in:
Cloth
e-book

From Jewish clothing merchants to Bangladeshi curry houses, ancient docks to the 2012 Olympics, the area east of the City has always played a crucial role in London's history. The East End, as it has been known, was the home to Shakespeare's first theater and to the early stirrings of a mass labor movement; it has also traditionally been seen as a place of darkness and despair, where Jack the Ripper committed his gruesome murders, and cholera and poverty stalked the Victorian streets.

In this beautifully illustrated history of this iconic district, John Marriott draws on twenty-five years of research into the subject to present an authoritative and endlessly fascinating account. With the aid of copious maps, archive prints and photographs, and the words of East Londoners from seventeenth-century silk weavers to Cockneys during the Blitz, he explores the relationship between the East End and the rest of London, and challenges many of the myths that surround the area.

John Marriott is emeritus professor of history at the Raphael Samuel History Centre, University of East London.

"[A] major achievement."—Euan Ferguson, Time Out

“[S]uperb…”—Stephen Howe, The Independent

"Perhaps the International Olympic Committee officials should read this terrific book as their chauffeured cars purr up and down the commandeered streets of Whitechapel next year."—Sinclair Mckay, The Daily Telegraph

“East London’s turbulent story as an area always culturally and economically on the fringe (and for centuries beyond legislative reach thanks to the city wall) is mapped out in frequently fascinating detail in this rather good history…..John Marriott convincingly suggests that the east’s identity has always been distorted by its mythologies.”—Claire Allfree, Metro (London)

“[Marriott] is at his most perceptive and sympathetic in his accounts of the struggles of the working people in the East End and its age-old role as the nursery of the waves of immigrants who have enriched British society...”—Tim Knox, Country Life

“Marriott’s new history of the East End, Beyond The Tower is an expert guide to the area. The author gives an authoritative overview of East London’s history that is scholarly and lucid, handling complex economic and demographic issues with impressive clarity…..The narrative is enriched by descriptions of the vivid personalities and vital culture of East Enders…..Marriott’s book gives us a fuller portrait of the communities of East London.”—Otto Saumarez Smith

“…..gripping….I hope we will see more of this: a new focus on East London encouraging a serious look at our history.”—Stephen Timms MP

“….. [Marriott] is at his most perceptive and sympathetic in his accounts of the struggles of the working people in the East End and its age-old role as the nursery of the waves of immigrants who have enriched British society: Huguenot weavers, Jews from Germany, Poland and Russia, the ‘lascars’ and Chinese of the Docks, and in more recent years, refugees from the former colonies of the British Empire, especially India.”—Tim Knox, Country Life

“….he has done a brilliant job of gazing past the theme-park standbys (from Jack the Ripper to the Krays) to give us a portrait of an area that once more – as in the 17th and 18th centuries – contains pockets of wealth, as well as steep poverty. The difference now is that the wealth is clustered upon the river’s edge, where once lascars, street children and old men and women struggled daily to survive. Perhaps the International Olympic Committee officials should read this terrific book as their chauffeured cars purr up and down the commandeered streets of Whitechapel next year.”—Sinclair Mckay, The Daily Telegraph

“[it has] juicy details throughout…Start reading now and come the Olympics, you’ll be able to reel off anecdotes with the best of them.” —James Pallister, Architects Journal

"Erudite but readable, this history of East London in its mutinous variety traces the flow of change in glorious detail."—Boyd Tonkin, The Independent