This ingenious new book is an account of the ascent of ‘Mount London’ by a team of writers and urban cartographers, each scaling a smaller hill within the city – from Crystal Palace (112m) to Primrose Hill (78m). The essays and stories in Mount London unpeel London’s history and geography, reimagining the city as mountainous terrain and exploring what it’s like to move through the urban landscape.
Ascents of natural peaks are offset by expeditions to the city’s artificial mountains – The Shard (306m), the chimneys of Battersea Power Station (103m) – the search for ‘ghost hills’ in the back streets, and a descent into the deepest part of the Tube. Mount London is a unique and visionary record of the vertical city.
Matt D. Brown, Sarah Butler, Tom Chivers, Liz Cookman, David Cooper, Tim Cresswell, Alan Cunningham, Joe Dunthorne, Inua Ellams, Katy Evans-Bush, SJ Fowler, Bradley L. Garrett, Edmund Hardy, Justin Hopper, Martin Kratz, Amber Massie-Blomfield, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Helen Mort, Mary Paterson, Gareth E. Rees, Gemma Seltzer, Chrissy Williams, Tamar Yoseloff.
“A lovely read full of lots of interesting historical and geographical snippets”
“In London, no matter how high we climb, we will never escape from each other, and from other hills”
Peter Watts, The Great Wen
“Mount London asks interesting questions about the nature of ascents and journeys, about how we view the city and how other people might view it, and about the history that surrounds us constantly and informs our lives.”
Dan Carpenter, The Cadaverine
“A catalyst for assessing a city that can mean so many different things to different people … Any new resident within a London borough is strongly recommended to read it.”
Andrew Herbert, Wild Culture
“An eclectic collection about London’s physical and spiritual high points … What all [essays] have in common is the sense of London’s earth pushing up below the surface, that the city is something alive and to be tackled.”
Rachel Holdsworth, Londonist
Click on the flags to explore the hills of London.
Cover design by Ben Anslow
Published 28 May 2014
A unique and visionary record of the vertical city
Tom Chivers (co-editor) was born in Herne Hill, South London in 1983. His publications include How to Build a City (Salt, 2009), The Terrors (Nine Arches, 2009), Flood Drain (Annexe, 2014) and, as editor, the anthologies City State: New London Poetry and Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins, 2009 & 2012). He has made site-specific, perambulatory and audio work for Southbank Centre, Bishopsgate Institute, the Eden Project and LIFT. An award-winning independent arts producer, he is former co-Director of London Word Festival and currently runs Penned in the Margins from a small office in Aldgate. He lives in Rotherhithe.
Martin Kratz (co-editor) is an associate lecturer in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. His poetry has been widely published in magazines including The Rialto, Magma, The Interpreter’s House and The Moth. As a librettist, he collaborates regularly with the composer Leo Geyer, and their projects include the prizewinning song cycle Sideshows. Their chamber opera The Mermaid of Zennor was described by The Times as ‘imaginative and beautifully shaped.’