Real South Bank
Join poet Chris McCabe as he explores London’s South Bank in the latest title in the Real series. Here is the area as you won’t find it in guidebooks: the ‘oozy’ docklands history, its legacy of institutions and their buildings, its attraction for great writers and artists, the continuing redevelopment and its effects on local people.
On the South Bank is to be found Tate Modern, the brutalist National Theatre, the Shard, the Tudor brick of Lambeth Palace, the opaque MI6 headquarters, the fairground London Eye, along with modern estates, Victorian back streets and more ancient riverside buildings. It is nothing if not varied, and so are the lives of the people who lived there and have lived there in the past. Discover where Rimbaud might have lived, drink with Samuel Pepys in Webber Street, join Dickens in the final pages of Oliver Twist and survey the views painted by Monet and Whistler. Florence Nightingale established her school of nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital and just a century later the South Bank was at the centre of the Festival of Britain.
McCabe writes of all this and much more as he walks the streets and squares of these few square miles of London, occasionally glancing northwards across the river.
Drawing on his many years living there, accompanying local guides, consulting paintings and poems, McCabe has produced an endlessly fascinating look into a small slice of the capital that will appeal to locals, visitors and armchair travellers alike.