Home » London Book Review - Non Fiction » Book Review – Secret London (An Unusual Guide) by Rachel Howard and Bill Nash (Jonglez Publishing)

Book Review – Secret London (An Unusual Guide) by Rachel Howard and Bill Nash (Jonglez Publishing)

The Jonglez range of guides reflect the founder’s interest in the curious and the offbeat, Thomas Jonglez after finishing a Business degree decided to travel around the world, hitchhiking through South America was followed by trips to China, Tibet, India, Pakistan and many other countries.

When he arrived back in Paris he decided to write his first guidebook “Paris 300 lieux pour les curieux” , the first guidebook he published himself was Bruxelles insolite et secret (Secret Brussels)(2003), and its success led him to set up a partnership with Michelin who distributed the guides throughout most of Europe. The early success of the guides proved that the model worked and Jonglez Publishing has steadily expanded publishing guides and other books in a number of languages.

Secret London (An Unusual Guide) written by Rachel Howard and Bill Nash works on the Jonglez philosophy of Local Guides by Local people, both the authors are London ‘obsessives’ with an eye for the strange and unusual.

The guide lists a large number (over 300) of unusual and little known aspects of the city listed in nine distinct areas, many of the “secrets” are described in detail accompanied by a full-page photograph. The writing is informative but with a sense of humour which keeps within the overall ethos of the Jonglez Guides, it is interesting that many of the “secrets” are not necessary hidden in out of way places but are in full view of thousands who pass by them every day.

Falling in this category is York House Watergate, Britain’s Smallest Police Station in Trafalgar Square, London’s First Drinking Fountain in Holborn, London Wall on Tower Hill and Cab Shelters.

Some of the more unusual London museums are featured including The Foundling Museum, The British Optical Museum, The Garden Museum, The Clown’s Gallery and Museum, The Ragged House Museum and The Florence Nightingale Museum.

The guide provides plenty of opportunities for visitors to explore the darker side of London with the macabre delights of the Hunterian Museum, the Dead House, The Cornhill Devils and Relics of the Elephant Man.

On the lighter side, visitors can search for Min’s Penis, Boris Anrep’s Mosiacs, The Fortnum and Mason Clock, The Golden Boy of Pye Corner and the Puppet Barge.

Many cities have places that are only known to locals, guides like these allow these ‘secret’ locations to be more widely known and enjoyed. London is especially fortunate to have a wide range of locations that help to illustrate the history of this remarkable city.

This fascinating and attractive guide will certainly appeal to visitors who wish to go off the well-trodden paths of most London Guides, it will also appeal to Londoners who wish to explore some of the obscure nooks and crannies of the city.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or to buy a copy of the book, visit the Publishers website here

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