My favourite books 25: The A-Z of Georgian London

Original maps by John Rocque, 1747.  This edition Harry Margary, 1981.

The late Harry Margary lived in Lympne Castle in Kent, on the escarpment overlooking Romney Marsh.  Over a number of years, he built up a business that republished old maps to exceptional standards of reproduction and scholarship.  This business is now run by his son, and you can take a look at its website here.

Of course, you can never own too many London atlases, but the Georgian volume (Margary also publishes Elizabethan, Restoration, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian A-Zs) is an object of particular beauty.  My pictures never do justice to originals, but this is particularly true with this volume.

Frenchman John Rocque spent 9 years researching and engraving the 24 map sheets that make up this volume, stretching from Marylebone and Chelsea to Stepney and Rotherhithe, and textbook mapping with orchards, pasture and waterways – Dr Johnson’s London comes to life.