London: A History in Verse

Edited by Mark Ford

‘Six and a half centuries of wandering, whoring, watching, drinking, dancing, praying, building, courting, and cursing’

Read more about this
book and buy online »

“This marvelous anthology ranging over six centuries about one of the great cities of the world is not only a delight to read, but also a revelation… [W]e go from surprise to surprise turning the pages of this book, very much like someone taking in the sights of a city he was not familiar with, or has long known, and is now discovering to his astonishment, as if for the first time.”

—Charles Simic

“A volume that holds a poetic mirror up to London—and how does she look? Sublime and squalid, high-born and street-smart, worthy of a sonnet and only fit for doggerel. This irresistible collection captures 600 years of the city’s vibrant many-voiced chorus. A gem.”

—Zadie Smith

“It’s a London Thing”

Editor Mark Ford discusses his process in collecting the most evocative, representative, and iconic poetry about London:

“The Flour of Cities All”

London has long been understood through the poetry it has inspired. In London: A History in Verse, esteemed poet and critic Mark Ford has assembled the most capacious and wide-ranging anthology of poems about London to date, from Chaucer to Wordsworth to the present day, providing a chronological tour of urban life and of English literature. With an introductory essay exploring the cultural, political, and aesthetic significance of the verses he’s selected, Ford’s London is an essential guide to the city.

Back to top

Loeb Classical Library logo on red background