The Soul of London: A Survey of a Modern City
Publication Date 29 Apr 2018
OverviewThe novelist and editor Ford Madox Ford (whose account of his friendship with Joseph Conrad is also reissued in this series) published this 'survey of a modern city' in 1905. Describing London as 'a Personality that, whether we love it or very cordially hate it, fascinates us all', he says that he has tried to make this record 'anything rather than encyclopaedic, topographical, or archaeological'. His impressionistic account deals with the London of the individual imagination - where the country ends and London begins, the significance of the individual's sense of 'his' or 'her' London, the resonance of names and places, and the myriad activities which are called 'work' and 'leisure' in this global metropolis. Ford uses the particularities of individual lives to create an immense but detailed tapestry in a meditative book which became hugely popular, and was succeeded by two further volumes to form a trilogy, England and the English.