Well I say too young but at thirteen I could have read this set of descriptions of London by V.S. Pritchett but at the time I was too busy exploring the city myself.
Back then it was a Saturday trip down to Queens Road station and a train trip to where ever 2 shillings and sixpence return could take you.
Sometimes you struck sheer magic and at other times like when we ended up by a canal on a dreary wet February even I had to concede adventures weren’t everything.
Still there were enough successful ones to make it all worthwhile, and this book pretty much brings it all back.
For me I have to say it is the photographs that fascinate me more, like the one of the three “Lorry Drivers: Tower Hill” by the hut selling “coffee, sandwiches, cakes.”
I remember that spot along with the cabin and could have quite easily been there on that winter’s day when Evelyn Hofer took the picture.
And I have to say that her collection captures that London of the late 1950s and early 60s. Here there is a mix of buildings and street scenes along with some powerful images of people from the city gent, and dock workers, to the odd teenager all moody with his winkle pickers and flamboyant hairstyle.
Now recently I have featured books which cost little when they were published but now cost a shedful of money, but I am pleased to say not this one. I paid £12.99 for my brand new paperback reprint in 2003 and a quick trawl of the internet revealed bargains at £2.99 for a paperback copy and £3.75 for hardback.
So no excuses then.
Picture; cover London Perceived, V.S. Pritchett, 1962, reprinted by Penguin, 2003.