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Image showing hotels in Cromwell Road, 1972

Hotels on Cromwell Road, 1972
Collage reference: 83607

The London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) Book Group meets monthly to explore a range of London writing, with a remit covering fiction and non-fiction from all periods in London's history. We dust off old classics, explore new writing, make topical choices and use material from the archives to stimulate lively discussion.

June's Read – Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor.

Much of the reader's joy lies in the exquisite subtlety in Taylor's depiction of all the relationships, the brevity of her wit, and the apparently effortless way the plot unfolds...Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont is, for me, her masterpiece (Robert McCrum 'The 100 Best Novels', Guardian).

This sharp portrait of post-war life, published in 1971, follows a group of elderly Londoners living at the genteel but shabby Claremont Hotel in Earl’s Court. Taylor shows us a class and lifestyle about to disappear in the social shake-up of the 60s.

Future titles

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Event guidance

  • The next book group meeting is at 6pm on Wednesday 14 June at LMA.
  • The book group is free, but booking is recommended.
  • You can book to attend this event on the Eventbrite website.

Previous titles read by the book group

  • John Gay - Trivia: or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London
  • Adam Foulds - The Quickening Maze
  • Michael Moorcock - Mother London
  • Marie Belloc Lowndes - The Lodger
  • Lao She - Mr Ma and Son
  • H.G. Wells - Ann Veronica
  • Patience Agbabi - Telling Tales
  • Ben Aaronovitch - Rivers of London
  • Monica Ali - Brick Lane
  • Daniel Defoe - Moll Flanders
  • Sukhdev Sandhu - Night Haunts
  • Charles Dickens - Bleak House
  • Evelyn Waugh - Vile Bodies
  • Penelope Fitzgerald - Offshore
  • George Gissing - The Nether World
  • Rachel Lichtenstein - Diamond Street
  • Jack London - The People of the Abyss
  • Pat Barker - Toby's Room
  • Louisa Young - My Dear I Wanted To Tell You
  • John Lanchester - Capital
  • Anthony Trollope - The Way We Live Now
  • Virginia Woolf - Mrs Dalloway
  • Norman Collins - The Lonely Londoners
  • Patrick Hamilton - Hangover Square
  • Peter Ackroyd - Lambs of London
  • Angela Carter - Wise Children
  • James Boswell - London Journal
  • Joesph Conrad - The Secret Agent
  • Daniel Defoe - A Journal of the Plague Year
  • Elizabeth Bowen - The Heat of the Day
  • Iain Sinclair - London Orbital
  • Samuel Richardson - Clarissa
  • Gillian Slovo - Ten Days
  • Wendy Moore - How to Create the Perfect Wife
  • Gillian Tindall - The House by the Thames - and the People who Lived There
  • Claire Tomalin - Samuel Pepys – The Unequalled Self
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys
  • Jean Rhys – Voyage in the Dark
  • Frances Burney - Evelina
  • George Orwell - 1984
  • Amy Levy - Reuben Sachs
  • Colin MacInnes - Absolute Beginners
  • Nell Dunn - Up the Junction and Poor cow
  • Travis Elborough - London Bridge in America
Published:
10 June 2013
Last Modified:
01 June 2017

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