Cultures of London

Charlotte Grant


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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
11 January 2024
ISBN: 9781350242012
328 pages

From the publisher

From its origin as the Roman city of Londinium through to its latest incarnation as a super-diverse World City in the twenty-first century, London's history and culture has been shaped by migration. This book expresses and celebrates the plurality of the capital's cultures and affirms the importance of migration in the making of the modern city through thirty-three short essays written by academics, artists, broadcasters and curators. Subjects range from the mediaeval to the contemporary: buildings and institutions, individuals and communities, objects, visual art, street performances and literary texts. Some contributors focus on famous people and places, like Shakespeare and St Paul's, while others explore less well-known subjects, like the Free German League of Culture (1939-46) or Ignatius Sancho, the eighteenth-century musician, grocer and man-of-letters. It is not only London's cultures which are diverse, migration is also plural. This book engages with the very many human migrations from across the globe and within the British Isles that have taken place over the last two-thousand years, as well as with the movements of plants, animals, and ideologies from other countries and continents, and the movement of natural resources and manmade toxins into and through the city. Composed of a vivid collection of snapshots, the volume offers a kaleidoscopic vision of the city and provides new insights into the successive migrant communities that have come to London and made it their own.