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The scope of The London Journal is broad, embracing all aspects of metropolitan society past and present, including comparative studies. The journal is
multi-disciplinary and is intended to interest all concerned with the understanding and enrichment of London and Londoners: historians, geographers, economists, sociologists, social workers, political scientists, planners, educationalists, archaeologists, conservationists, architects, and all those taking an interest in the fine and performing arts, the natural environment and in commentaries on metropolitan life in fiction as in fact.

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Nicola Avery 

Meet the Editor 

Nicola Avery, editor of The London Journal, discusses the aims of journal since 1975, the types of papers published, and looks ahead to the future of the journal.

History of the Journal 

David Green, chair of The London Journal Trust, takes a look back at the journal's history

The London Journal was founded in 1975 as a ‘unique experiment’ in presenting London ‘as it was and as it is’, expressing something of its culture and drawing on expertise much broader than that provided by historians alone.  The aim was to present a more complete study of the city and region in its historical, societal and cultural context.  Those who attended the first meeting in which the Journal’s existence was first discussed, also recognised that the city stood at the brink of a crisis with its ‘fine vistas, good government, peaceful streets, … [and] its sense of community' all threatened.  Born out of a sense of crisis, the Journal, it was hoped, would help to inform a concerned public about the importance of the city’s heritage and what was worth preserving.  Scholarly articles, opinion pieces, review articles, book and exhibition reviews, and reports from local history societies were all seen as important elements of the Journal that reached out well beyond the narrow academic confines of peer-reviewed publications.  Just as the civility of London depended on the juxtaposition of different kinds of communities and land uses, so the editorial committee expressed the belief in ‘education by collision’ – the juxtaposition of different disciplinary approaches to specific issues and questions in the same journal.

Read more from David Green. 

Dr Drew Gray

Meet the Reviews Editor

Drew is a Senior Lecturer in the history of crime at the University of Northampton. His primary research focuses on the role of the Justice of Peace in 18th century England but he teaches across the period 1700-1900 and has published two books, one on the City of London’s magistracy and the other, London’s Shadows, on the East End in the 1880s. He is currently writing a volume on youth crime in the capital. Drew is a north Londoner, an Arsenal fan, and has a broad interest in all aspects of the capital’s history, art and culture.

Read Drew's article from The London Journal Vol. 32.1: The Regulation of Violence in the Metropolis; the Prosecution of Assault in the Summary Courts, c.1780–1820.

Derek Keene

A Review of the Archive

The London Journal was founded in 1975. Subtitled ‘A Review of Metropolitan Society Past and Present’, it set out to present a multi-disciplinary forum for all aspects of the study of London. At that time urban studies, and those of London in particular, were beginning to flourish to a hitherto unparalleled degree, their diversity, intricacy and level of specialisation matching those of the metropolis itself. The journal soon established its field as predominantly historical, but with a wide-ranging, trans-disciplinary approach to the matter of London over the last thousand years (and on occasion even earlier times).  Many of the essays are informed by a sense of the distinctive spaces within and associated with the metropolis and so belong to the realm of social, economic and cultural geography as much as that of history. Among topics covered are architecture, art, music, theatre, cinema, sport, international trade, coffee houses, demography, families and households, crime, revolts and riots (from the Peasants’ Revolt to Brixton), policing, punishment, governance and forms of association, politics, relations between metropolis and state, poverty, disease, drugs, welfare, charity, philanthropy, transport and other infrastructure, education, ethnic and other minorities, civic and state pageantry, fashion, perceptions of London by natives and outsiders, sexuality, deviance and  religion.

Read more from Derek Keene.

Richard Dennis 

How a special issue is formed 

Richard Dennis, a member of the Editorial Committee, gives us an insight into the process of becoming a guest editor, suggesting a theme, and contributing to a special issue.

Richard Dennis 

Special Issues  

Richard Dennis, a member of the Editorial Committee, tells us more about the special issues from 2008 to the present. These include Tall Buildings in the London Landscape, Aerial Views of Metropolitan London, and Sport in London. He also discusses forthcoming special issues expected for 2013 and 2014.

City of Sport

Matthew Taylor revisits the 'Sport in London' special issue from 2009

London has always been a city of sport. As well as being the home of internationally recognised sporting venues such as Lord’s, Twickenham, Wembley and Wimbledon, it was the site for the codification and governance of many sports in the Victorian period. As an imperial metropolis and a world city, London was a hub for the dissemination of the game forms and ideologies associated with British sport, and the social networks through which sport became internationally regulated and globalised. Beyond the spectacular events that drew large crowds, sports of various kinds thrived in London’s streets and pubs, and in genteel private suburban clubs. Although not ‘born’ in London as such, boxing, greyhound racing, polo, speedway racing and tennis, to pick just a few examples, can all claim to have been significantly structured and shaped by the city, its people and its public and private spaces. For all its significance, there have been few serious attempts to examine the cultural and social history of sport in London. Richard Tames’ Sporting London (2005) was a useful starting point and Simon Inglis’ forthcoming book in his ‘Played in England’ series promises to enhance our knowledge of the history and heritage of London’s sporting venues. But we still await a history of sport in London that would do justice to the wealth of the source material and the complexity of the subject. The special issue of The London Journal on ‘Sport in London’, which I was asked to edit by Nicola Avery in 2009, was envisaged as a step in this direction, collecting together six original articles on various aspects of the modern history of sport in the capital.         

Read more from Matthew Taylor.

Read the original special issue.

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Looking back: 'From Windsor Castle to White City' 

Martin Polley revisits his article from the 'Sport in London' special issue

‘From Windsor Castle to White City: The 1908 Olympic Marathon Route’, published in The London Journal in 2009, was a major departure for me. As a historian trained in documentary analysis, all of my writing up until then had been based on documentary analysis. I had used visuals, including maps, in teaching and as a background factor in my research, but my whole approach was based on archival visits and the written word. Things changed for me in 2006, when I started work on the history and heritage of the Olympic Games in Britain. I had been impressed with the books that English Heritage were publishing under the Played in Britain label, with Simon Inglis as editor. The first books covered the sporting heritage of cities, including Manchester and Birmingham, as well as themes, including swimming pools and football ground architecture. I proposed an Olympic book to them in the light of London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, which they accepted. This was the genesis of my book The British Olympics: Britain’s Olympic heritage 1612-2012, which Inglis edited for Played in Britain, and which came out in 2011. My work on the 1908 Marathon route, which started with my article for The London Journal, was thus part of a much bigger project...

Read more from Martin Polley. 

Read his original article from The London Journal.

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Future Still Indefinite   

John and Margaret Gold revisit their article from the 'Sport in London' special issue

Looking through our essay again after around three and a half years, the word that leaps out from the title is ‘retrenchment’.  Neither of us is entirely sure as to why we choose that particular word with its Gladstonian connotations of fiscal orthodoxy, but it has proven unexpectedly prescient – even to the point of having Gladstone’s successors back in Government after an absence of around a century.  At the time, the word simply seemed appropriate in light of Tessa Jowell’s foot-in-mouth moment when she candidly admitted that what seemed like a good idea in July 2005 could not be financially justified in November 2008.  She did not, of course, suggest that the British Government would pull the plug on the Olympic project.  Nor did there seem much likelihood that wider economic considerations would threaten the provision of the permanent structures or crucial infrastructure associated with the Olympics.  However, it did seem to us that other aspects of the tangible and non-material sports legacy of the Games might not fare so well.

Read more from John and Margaret Gold. 

Read their original article from The London Journal.

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June 2011-September 2012

The London Mapping Festival 2011-2012 is a series of events combining existing programmes with new specially organised activities. From June 2011 to December 2012 the festival will encompass all mapping-related disciplines including surveying, GIS, GPS and remote sensing and will showcase the unique range of innovative technologies and applications that exist for the Capital.

>> Visit the LMF homepage.


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Best of the Archive  

The most popular articles from The London Journal

To celebrate The London Journal being Journal of the Month in July, in addition to the 3 years of free content, the following 10 articles are available free to download until 15th August 2012! Simply sign up using the form above to access your free content!

'The Youngest Legend in History': Cultures of Consumption and the Mythologies of Swinging London

Future Indefinite? London 2012, the Spectre of Retrenchment and the Challenge of Olympic Sports Legacy

Answering the 'Bitter Cry': Urban Description and Social Reform in the Late-Victorian East End

The Life and Crimes of Charlotte Walker, Prostitute and Pickpocket

Medieval London and its Region

'Babylonian Flats' in Victorian and Edwardian London

East End Localism and Urban Decay: Shoreditch's Re-Emerging Gay Scene

From Sessions to Newspaper? Criminal Trial Reporting, the Nature of Crime, and the London Press, 1770-1800

London, Sport and the Olympics

Tall Buildings in the London Landscape

SPECIAL ISSUE 2012: 'London Scenes'

Issue 37.3, guest edited by Dr. Alison O’Byrne, University of York

This special issue brings together a series of essays first delivered as brief papers at the 'London Scenes' workshop held at the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York, in December 2010. The purpose of the workshop was to consider sequences of images of the metropolis by a range of artists over the long eighteenth century in order to consider if, and to what extent, we might be able to describe a tradition of such sequences. From the start, we kept our definition of ‘sequence’ flexible, so that we could include a wide variety of works. In these essays, the sequences discussed include book illustrations, images by artists on a particular theme and images produced as part of a commercial series.

For a full table of contents, visit the journal homepage.

View a sneak peek of some of the images from the issue.

This Sporting Life: Dress in Sport

Costume special issue 

This volume, consisting of papers originally delivered at the Sport and Fashion symposium in 2011, celebrates the connection between sport and the clothes and fashion which are associated with certain sporting activities. Articles include a study of Olympic swimming costumes, women’s sport during the inter-war period, the use of sportsmen by clothing industries for brand marketing, and the aesthetic significance of certain items of clothing, specifically the shirt worn by Maradona during the 1986 Argentina-England World Cup quarter final. This volume can be accessed as part of a Costume subscription or can be bought as a standalone book. For more information, visit the journal homepage.

The London Journal is a MORE OpenChoice journal. MORE OpenChoice is Maney's hybrid open-access publishing model which works alongside the traditional subscription model. The free dissemination of sponsored papers is an important step in maximizing the impact of research, particularly in the developing world.

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