Best-selling author Christopher Winn takes us on a captivating journey around London to discover the unknown tales of our capital's history. Travelling through the villages and districts that make up the world's most dynamic metropolis, I Never Knew That About London unearths the hidden gems of legends, firsts, inventions, adventures and birthplaces that shape the city's compelling and at times turbulent past.
See the Chelsea river views that inspired Turner in his final years, and find out where London's first nude statue is. Explore London's finest country house in Charlton, and unearth the secrets of the Mother of Parliaments. Spy out the village that gave its name to a car and the Russian word for railway station. Discover which church steeple gave us the design of the traditional wedding cake, where the sandwich was invented, and where in Bond Street you can see London's oldest artefact. Visit the house where Handel and Jimi Hendrix both lived. Climb the famous 311 steps of the Monument, go from East to West and back again at Greenwich and fly the world's biggest big wheel.
Brimming with facts, stories and snippets providing a spellbinding insight into the history of London, this beautifully listen is guaranteed to inform and amuse in equal measure.
Christopher Winn's first book was the best-selling I Never Knew That About England. A freelance writer and collector of trivia for over 20 years, he has worked with Terry Wogan and Jonathan Ross and sets quiz questions for television as well as for the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.
He is also the associate producer of a TV series by ITV on Great Britain, airing in 2014. His website is http://www.i-never-knew-that.com.
©2007 Christopher Winn (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
"A delightful and informative addition to the capital's literary legacy...I Never Knew That About London will not fail to enhance months, even years, of gentle urban exploration.... Any number of morning or weekend outings can be constructed from these rich pages.... Winn's touch is always light, and his knowledge is never overbearing, so the selections and observations remain unfailingly interesting." (Rory MacLean, Guardian Online)
I Never Knew That About London by Christopher Winn is well read by Timothy Bentinck and is a mildly diverting listen for those interested in London’s long history. It is organized by neighborhood and can be hard to follow especially in the audio version without the benefit of page layout clues.
It is basically a long list of random facts about London locations organized only by their rough proximity. The information can be extremely esoteric. Along the lines of, “On this street lived Terry Dunno the drummer for an early 60s band you’ve never heard of, as well as John Whosit the green-grocer credited with introducing the avocado to London in 1912. Both houses were demolished in 1970.”
Christopher Winn frequently references the locations for film shoots, but they tend to be rather obvious such as, “Notting Hill drew international attention as the setting for the 1999 movie, Notting Hill.” Or so obscure you will wonder why he included them such as his several references to locations for the 2003 film Johnny English.
I could imagine a Londoner picking up this book at the library and learning a few interesting facts about their neighborhood to share at the pub but it’s far too trivial for anyone interested in an actual history. On Audible try London a Short History of the Greatest City in the World from the Great Courses or A. N. Wilsons’ very brief but compelling London A History. For the tourist looking for greater depth of understanding the excellent Rough Guide to London (not on Audible) gives historical context, points out hidden oddities and obscure sites, as well as giving you the practical information you need to visit the city. This guide book is written with more context and humor than Mr Winn manages.
I Never Knew That About London is entertaining and in a scattered way, informative, but it feels more like sitting down and reading the questions and answers off Trivial Pursuit cards than anything you will remember once its ten hours are over.
Disjointed and generally dull. If I hadn't been born in london, this book would not make me want to visit the place.
"Informative good book"
Great and interesting facts about London, but very fast paced and a lot to take in. That said a fascinating insight.
"Really good, interesting book."
Very good book, solid with concise facts and info covering all over London. Written with passion and interest. I've had a few similar and particularly enjoyed this one.
"Loved every minute of it."
Educational and fun. I learnt so much about London's areas and recommend it to everyone.
"Lots of facts, but no narrative"
The facts presented were quite interesting in themselves. However hours of them, with nothing much linking them the than a geographical area, got quite tedious. The constant reciting of measurements in imperial and metric was especially grating.
some things I already knew others were interesting new facts. worth a listen if you like London.
"All substance and no style"
This book is exactly like the stream of words you might hear on an open top city bus tour, only not the kind where the host is an aspiring comedian who delivers his stream of historical facts in an interesting or amusing way. The book could literally be written in the form of a bullet point list - it is an endless torrent of single sentence facts with very little narrative embellishment, which is desperately needed because most of the facts espoused aren't particularly interesting on their own.
Needs some reorganising the 'path' followed seemed try random and a lot of the book just felt like a list of Wikipedia trivia.
Maybe for a quick history/trivia fest about London it is enjoyable for the most part
He is a little flat but serviceable
Not a bat Idea, or at least an updated volume as building come and go, there were a few tings that are already outdated and this is a new book!
It feels rather like a stream of consciousness and list at times often not telling more about interesting stories other then to tell you that they happened
I have lived in London for most of my life which helps, but this list of facts which is often repetitive shouldn't be so interesting. I will definitely listen again and probably buy the book.
"Highly Recomended But Flawed!"
I mostly enjoyed this audio-book and learned lots about my home city. I was a little dissapointed that certain London boroughs did not get a mention and too much time was spent talking about churches. But overall this was well worth the time and it's randomness sort of added to it's charm!
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