Living London by George R Sims is a remarkable set of books. These three volumes were published circa 1900 and contain wonderful and unique photographs of London in the late 19th century.
The majority if images in Living London are photographs taken by the publishers, Cassell and Company, London. The photographers are not credited. Drawings and sketches are included where the publisher states that it was not possible to take a photograph. It is the unique set of photographs in these three volumes that make these books so fascinating and rare.
The written contents of the books cover every aspect of London life at the end of the 19th century. Each subject, from London Awakes to Midnight London contain detailed written articles by George R Sims (1847-1922) or his colleagues.
The three volumes are in good condition. Hardbacks with gold foil on green cloth. The covers are slightly scuffed. The inside pages are slightly marked, here and there, but for books over 120 years old they are in good condition and a joy to read.
In many ways Living London compares with ‘Street Life in London‘, by John Thomson (1832-1921) and the radical journalist Adolphe Smith, published in 1877. John Thompson’s work as a photographer is regarded as the first instance of social documentary in Britain which laid the foundations for photojournalism. His photography is not included in the Living London books but we feel that the photographs in this three volume set are just as important a record of London’s social history.
Living London will be a delight for anyone interested in the social history of London and early photography.