Reading underground, part II

As promised, here’s a selection of the more recent lending books on the shelves of Westminster Libraries covering the history and development of the London Underground, to accompany the recent fiction list. You can find other titles, including many reference works and local history books by searching the library catalogue or by clicking on any of the links below and browsing through the catalogue ‘tags’.

How the Tube shaped LondonHow the tube shaped London, by David Bownes, Oliver Green and Sam Mullins
This new, lavishly illustrated history is the official anniversary publication of the London Underground, drawing on previously unseen sources and images to celebrate the crucial role of the tube in the creation and everyday life of modern London.

Haunted London UndergroundHaunted London Underground, by David Brandon and Alan Brooke
London’s Underground is associated with a multitude of ghostly stories and sightings. Particular stations and abandoned lines, many of which are in close proximity to burial sites from centuries ago, have given rise to unexplained events. This chilling book reveals well-known and hitherto unpublished tales of spirits, specters, and other spooky occurrences on one of the oldest railway networks in the world, recorded in fascinating detail – a must-read for anyone interested in the mysterious and murky history of London’s Underground.

A platform for art: Art on the UndergroundPlatform for art: art on the Underground, by Alex Coles
London Underground has long been a pioneer in the field of art and design, from the early twentieth century when it commissioned posters by artists such as Man Ray, Edward McKnight Kauffer and Graham Sutherland and the commission of Eduardo Paolozzi at Tottenham Court Road station in the 1980s, to the current art programme, Platform for Art. This is a book that traces the project’s growing success – from its fairly modest beginnings in the late 1990s, to what is now a highly ambitious and creative programme, showcasing some of the most exciting and innovative work from the contemporary international art scene.

London's Underground SuburbsLondon’s Underground suburbs, by Dennis Edwards
No other great European city expanded as much as London between the two World Wars. The London Underground extensions into Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire and Surrey brought about the creation of new suburbs at an extraordinary rate.

The London UndergroundThe London Underground, by Andrew Emmerson
The London Underground is the heart of London life, used by millions of commuters and shoppers every year, its tentacles extending into the suburbs it has helped to create. This book will transport you vividly back to the past: well over half the illustrations are in colour, and most of the photographs have not seen the light of day since they were taken.

London's OvergroundLondon’s Overground, by John Glover
In December 2007 a new franchisee London Overground appeared on the railway scene. This impressive new title explores how London Overground is one aspect of a massive development of the non-Underground railway routes in the Greater London area, and provides a historical overview to the lines that encompass the Overground network and of those projects currently under development.

London's UndergroundLondon’s Underground, by John Glover
First compiled by the late H. Howson in the early 1950s, this book has been published regularly for more than 50 years. Widely regarded as the most comprehensive general history of the Underground, the book’s 10th edition was published in 2003 and included the then recent opening of the Jubilee Line extension and the creation of the Private/Public Partnership that was designed to develop an Underground network suitable for the 21st century. Since the publication of the last edition the threat of terrorism has increased and, along with it, the ever present issues of security and privacy, the massive growth in the Oyster card system and the award of the 2012 Olympics to London.

Underground to everywhereUnderground to everywhere: London’s Underground Railway in the life of the Capital, by Stephen Halliday
Stephen Halliday’s informative, entertaining, wide-ranging history of the Underground celebrates the vision and determination of the Victorian Pioneers who conceived this revolutionary transport system. His book records the scandal, disappointments, and disasters that have punctuated the story and the careers of the gifted, dedicated, sometimes corrupt individuals that have shaped it’s history. It also gives a fascinating insight into the neglected, often unseen aspects of this subterranean system – the dense network of tunnels, shafts and chambers that have been created beneath the city streets.

Underground OvergroundUnderground, overground: a passenger’s history of the tube, by Andrew Martin
Why is the Victoria Line so hot? What is an Electrical Multiple Unit? Is it really possible to ride from King’s Cross to King’s Cross on the Circle line? The London Underground is the oldest, most sprawling and illogical metropolitan transport system in the world, the result of a series of botch-jobs and improvisations.Yet it transports over one billion passengers every year – and this figure is rising. It is iconic, recognised the world over, and loved and despised by Londoners in equal measure.

Walk the linesWalk the lines: the London Underground, overground, by Mark Mason
As a lifelong fan of London, Mark Mason embarks on a mission to ‘conquer’ the capital once and for all. The only way to truly discover a city, they say, is on foot. Taking this to extremes, Mark sets out to walk the entire length of the London Underground – overground – passing every station on the way.

From here to hereFrom here to here: stories inspired by London’s Circle Line, edited by John Simmons
Notting Hill, Baker Street, King’s Cross, Westminster … the Circle Line transports us to and from many of London’s most famous places, as well as some of its obscure corners (Temple, Euston Road, Aldgate). The 31 chapters of this book, each by a different writer, explore the territory around the Circle Line’s stations and the network that connects them. Through fiction, poetry, memoir and reportage, they bring to life the extraordinary spirit of this complex, demanding, inspiring city.

The subterranean railwayThe subterranean railway: how the London Underground was built and how it changed the city forever, by Christian Wolmar
Christian Wolmar celebrates the vision and determination of the nineteenth-century pioneers who made the world’s first, and still the largest, underground passenger railway: one of the most impressive engineering achievements in history. From the early days of steam to electrification, via the Underground’s contribution to twentieth-century industrial design and its role during two world wars, the story comes right up to the present with its sleek, driverless trains and the wrangles over the future of the system.

[Malcolm]

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