Monday, 16 January 2012

More about Five Farthings

Five Farthings: a London story
. The title's beautifully clear and you're drawn into a world of City life that's as recognisable to any commuter or City worker today, even if City rents aren't low any more. It works, I think, because it's an enjoyable family story with an uncommon subject at its heart. How many people even today are familiar with the layout of the City - how many just walk past Cannon Street station and don't even look up at the splendour of St Paul's on the daily commute? I try, though the dragons fade into the background after a while, striking as they are. London in your lunch hour probably won't include Wren churches or sandwiches in the parks - most of us manage a quick coffee or a wander around shopping before dashing back to our desks. My office has daft pigeons wandering in circles around the guttering - Redlich has them pottering about around the roof of the cathedral. The only thing I would have liked to do while researching and putting this book together was to visit a Lyons Corner House. I'm told that some could be spectacular and doubt that the interior of a modern coffee house would strike me in quite the same way.

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