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Two thousand years of English history in one neighbourhood

About the Author

Dan Cruickshank is an architectural historian and television presenter. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group, and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust. His recent work includes the BBC television programmes Civilisation Under Attack (2015) and At Home with the British (2016), and the books A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings (2015) and Spitalfields (2016). He lives in London.


Genial, erudite and companionable . . . this heroic and heartfelt book caps a career devoted to [Spitalfields'] heritage. * Spectator *
With beguiling erudition, TV historian and local resident Cruickshank tells the story of Spitalfields from Roman times to today . . . This is people's history at its tastiest. * Sunday Express *
A passionate, scholarly energy and involvement with every era of the district's long history come off Spitalfields' pages . . . Absorbing detail. * Times Literary Supplement *
Cruickshank writes perceptively and honestly . . . As well as being a fascinating account of a unique area of London, Spitalfields is a timely warning that helps us to appreciate what the city and country risk losing. * Country Life *
Dan Cruickshank bores into the rich history of Spitalfields, the area of east London where he has lived for decades. -- Rowan Moore, Best Books of 2016 * Observer *
Dan Cruickshank has long been a resident of Elder Street in Spitalfields. In this elaborate chronicle of the district's past, he takes us on a historical tour that runs from the Romans to Tracy Emin . . . A love letter to a distinctive part of London that has always retained its own personality. * History Today *
Cruickshank's history laments the City's encroachment on Spitalfields and the attendant growth there of estate agents, internet companies, fashion outlets and beardy hipster capitalists bent on having their slice of East End exotica. -- Best Books About London * Evening Standard *
A delight to read . . . Teaches one how to use one's eyes more intelligently. -- Jean Seaton, Chair of Judges, PEN Hessell-Tiltman History Prize
Particularly interesting is the story of Elder Street viewed through architectural sources, taxes and censuses. It acts as a microcosm showing the changes Britain faced over the centuries. * Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine *
This is an elegy to a place changing beyond recognition . . . Cruickshank is an appealing, sympathetic writer. * The Times *
For history lovers, this is an excellent read . . . Cruickshank's meticulous research is breathtaking. * Historical Novel Society *
[Spitalfields'] raffish vitality is derived from the area's long history of embracing immigrants . . . Cruickshank warns that the greatest threat to Spitalfields comes from the ever-encroaching march of tower blocks. -- Must Reads * Daily Mail *

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