Twenty-three London writers launch an ascent of the vertical city
Forget the skyscrapers: an invisible mountain is rising above the streets of the capital - and at over 1,800 metres, it is Britain's highest peak.
This ingenious new book is an account of the ascent of 'Mount London' by a team of writers, poets and urban cartographers, each scaling a lesser hill within the city - from Stamford Hill (36m) to Crystal Palace (112m). Ascents of natural peaks are offset by the search for 'ghost hills' in the back streets, a descent into the deepest part of the Tube, and expeditions to the city's artificial mountains - The Shard (306m), the chimneys of Battersea Power Station (103m).
Helen Mort (Division Street) goes cross-country running up Parliament Hill, Joe Dunthorne (Submarine) tackles Europe's tallest building as a metaphor for gentrification, and Justin Hopper (Old, Weird Albion) discovers Doctor Who at the summit of Horsenden Hill. Many of the expeditions in this book reveal mountainous follies, their rubble strewn across the city from Northala Fields to Stave Hill to the ruins of the Crystal Palace. Ghosts of the city emerge from the pages: John Bunyan; the Sydenham Hill Giant; Margaret Finch, Queen of the Gypsies. From the folly of man to reach ever higher, to the effort of the climb, Mount London explores not only the physical topography, but also the psychological experience of urban hill walking.
Mount London is the latest anthology from award-winning independent publisher Penned in the Margins. Conceived and edited by poet Tom Chivers and academic Martin Kratz, this pioneering collection brings together twenty-three contemporary writers to document navigations of the city through essays and stories that are humorous, enlightening and endlessly imaginative.
Launched on 28th May to coincide with the feast of St Bernard of Montjoux, the patron saint of mountaineers, this dynamic collection brings the dense terrain of the city ever closer, immersing the reader in the environments and folk histories that Londoners encounter every day. Mount London unpeels London's history and geography, reimagining the streets as mountainous terrain and exploring what it's like to move through the contemporary city.
Full list of authors
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.