I have always been crazy about going to London! My parents stayed there before I was born, and as a kid I was very angry on them for not waiting for me! I used to look at the old albums, with my mum and sister posing in Hyde Park, or my dad talking about taking the tube for work, or all of them in Oxford Street. I loved to hear all about that city. (I used to tell people around me that I am the one in the photographs – my sister and me are look-a-likes so that helped!)
And when I finally reached London, I realized that this city is worth all the hype! I loved it. I did all that I heard from my parents. I took the tube, I strolled around in Hyde Park and I shopped on the Oxford Street.
Being an anglophile, I felt I have to read and own this gorgeous edition of London Stories from the Everyman’s Library Pocket Classics Collection. It is a collection of around 26 short stories capturing London from the eyes of Shakespeare to Dickens to Hanif Kureishi.
Whenever I read short story collections, I never tend to like all of the stories. There are always some which steal the show, and some just miss the chord for me. There are glimpses into the life in London through the ages, through society, through the different areas. Some stories are truly focused on London, but in most of them, London, is merely in the background, and not a character of its own, as I had expected.
For the literary-minded traveler in me, my personal favourite was J.B. Priestley’s Coming to London which reminiscences of his early days in London in 1920s. He writes about the long-lost tradition of literary parties of the 1920s that were open to writers of all ages.