London Books – I Give Up!
I’m currently researching the next Bryant & May book by visiting the area around Bleeding Heart Year, and reading some new London books, but this month there has been a veritable avalanche with simply too many to cover or recommend here – some thirty volumes!
These are the ones I’m studying for ‘Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart’.
‘A History of Londoners Buried Alive’
‘London’s Dead: A Guided Tour of the Capital’s Dead’
‘The Victorian Cemetery’
‘Death: A Self-Portrait’
‘Final Exits: How We Die’
‘Death: The Scientific Facts’
But the one I’d recommend to general readers is ‘Diamond Street; The Hidden World of Hatton Garden’ by Rachel Lichtenstein, about Jews and the diamond trade in London. Hatton Garden is still where those in the know go to buy their wedding rings, although I got mine at Stephen Einhorn in Islington because you’re provided with proof of provenance, which means they’re ethically mined. I’m also researching my supernatural novel, which involves the investigation of labyrinths, asylums and unusual London architecture. You realise all this costs me a fortune.
As for London books, one of the best selections is at The Wellcome Institute bookshop, where you can also see their free exhibition on death this month.
And there’s this, from a long poem about Bleeding Heart Yard, to consider, from The House-Warming!!: A Legend Of Bleeding-Heart Yard by Thomas Ingoldsby;
The last piece of advice which I’d have you regard
Is, ‘don’t go of a night into Bleeding Heart Yard,’
It’s a dark, little, dirty, black, ill-looking square,
With queer people about, and unless you take care,
You may find when your pocket’s clean’d out and left bare,
That the iron one is not the only ‘PUMP’ there!
Although I think it’s a lot safer these days.