Stephen Hoare


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The History Press Ltd
1 September 2021
ISBN: 9780750995658
256 pages

From the publisher

Piccadilly, London's milelong western artery, was originally known for its busy coaching inns and magnificent aristocratic palaces, and, more recently, for its internationally renowned department stores, theatres, restaurants and hotels. At the junction of five major roads, Piccadilly Circus became known as the 'Hub of Empire'. Balancing enterprise, profit and pleasure, it marks the divide between polite society and a bustling nightlife. In this book, London historian Stephen Hoare explores how and why 'Dilly' has always been a haunt for pleasure seekers. It traces the development of London's West End from its aristocratic origins right through to its hedonistic heyday, when the Bright Young Things rubbed shoulders with royalty, film stars, gangsters, pimps and prostitutes. Today, Piccadilly's traditional institutions, such as Hatchards, Fortnum and Mason, the Royal Academy and the Ritz, sit alongside sushi bars, Viennese coffee shops and fashionable jewellers and boutiques as the neon lights of the Circus continue to attract visitors from across the globe.