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Poetry, Verse and Rhymes; Games. 0804: Anon., London: a Descriptive Poem

Author: Anon.
Title: London: a descriptive poem. Illustrated with engravings. Second edition, corrected
Cat. Number: 0804
Date: 1812
1st Edition: 1811
Pub. Place: London
Publisher: William Darton, Jun., 58, Holborn Hill, Corner of St. Andrew's Court
Price: 1s
Pages: 1 vol., 28pp.
Size: 13 x 10 cm.
Illustrations: 8 full-page engravings
Note: Engravings dated 1813. Inscription on fly-leaf: 'Wm. George Walker Darby / the gift of his dear Papa / February 14th 1818'

Images of all pages of this book

Page 002 of item 0804

Introductory essay

A travel book forced into the form of an epic poem, the verses here celebrate London as an architectural wonder and the seat of British virtues: commerce, trade, tolerance and creativity. The poem meanders around the city, stopping off at all the usual sites (the Tower of London, the Monument, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Thames) and illustrating them with high-quality engravings much like those which appeared in popular children's travel books celebrating the metropolis, like the enormously popular Curiosities of London and Westminster (see 1026). Every so often, though, short disquisitions are inserted, also in verse, celebrating the extent of the commercial network centred on London (pp.8-9 and pp.14-15), say, or London poets (p.22) or playwrights (p.26). Whether the book was designed to appeal primarily on the basis of its poetical beauties or its store of useful information is not quite clear.