Resources for London/UK

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Resources for London/UK
(v. 7/5/12)
Below are resources that may be a starting point for your preparation for London. It is by no means a completely comprehensive list – please send Heidi additional resources you found helpful to recommend to future faculty.
General Websites for London Planning
Travel (transport for London) (national rail for the UK) (discount airline) (discount airline) (great last minute deals for travel, food, events, theatre)
General London Information (general visit London website) (general visit London website) (general visit London website) (weekly entertainment listings) (pubs throughout the UK) (Great restaurant coupons)
General UK Tourism Information
Selected Books

There are literally thousands of books about the United Kingdom, England, (Great) Britain and London. Here is a short selection dealing with some specific topics which you may find useful:


  • Bennett, M. J., ed. (1998). Basic Concepts of Intercultural Communication. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press. An excellent introduction to intercultural communication theory.

  • Craig Storti, (2001). The Art of Crossing Cultures (Second Ed.). Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. A very readable text that explores adaptation and acculturation.

  • Lederer, W.J, & Burdick, E. (1958). The Ugly American New York: WW Norton & Company.

  • A classic piece of fiction by two sociologists.

  • Marwick, Arthur. Britain Discovered. Artists House.

  • Great Britain, an Insight Guide. Apa Productions

  • 250 Tours of Britain. Drive Publications Ltd. For the Automobile Association.

  • Images of Britain. The Automobile Association.

  • The Times Museum and Galleries Passport Guide. Spero Communications, 1990.

  • Explore Britain – 1001 Places to Visit. George Philip & Son.

Language, society and culture

  • Bill Bryson, (1996). Notes from a Small Island. Ontario, Canada: McClelland & Stewart.

  • Written by an American after many years in the UK, this book is an excellent example of humorous and informative travel writing.

  • Christopher Davies, (2005). Divided by a Common Language. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.

A good guide to British English.

  • Kate Fox, Watching the English. (Hodder: 2005).

Very entertaining anthropological view of English behaviour.

  • Kate Fox, The Racing Tribe: Watching the Horsewatchers. (Metro Books,London: 2002)

  • Kate Fox and Desmond Morris, Pubwatching. (Sutton Publishing Ltd: 1993).

  • Kate Fox, Passport to the Pub: The Tourist’s Guide to Pub Etiquette. (The Do-Not Press: 1996)

  • Kate Fox and Dr. Peter Marsh, Drinking and Public Disorder. (SIRC: 1992)

  • A report of research conducted for The Portman Group by MCM Research

  • Lots of short articles and reports can be found at the Social Issues Research Center website (SIRC):

  • Kenneth O. Morgan, The Oxford History of Britain (Oxford: 2001).
    This is, if you like, the authorised version of British History. Very solid in the best sense of the word, but not a light read.

  • Jeremy Paxman, The English. (Penguin Books, 1999).
    One of Britain's leading journalists takes on his own nation and wins.

  • Quindlen, Anna. Imagined London.

  • Raymond Seitz, Over Here. (Phoenix: 1998).
    Former US ambassador reflecting on British Society to mid 1990s. An excellent companion to Bryson.

  • Jane Walmsley. (2003). Brit-think, Ameri-think. New York: Penguin Group.

A humorous guide to understanding cultural differences and avoiding pitfalls.

  • “Ten Core Values of the British Identity.” 27 July 2005. Telegraph. 19 Apr 2008 <>.

  • The Customs and Ceremonies of Britain. Thames and Hudson.


  • Paul Trowler, Peter Alcock. (1998). Education Policy: a Policy Sociology Approach UK: Gildredge Social Policy. Essential reading for students of politics, sociology and education.

  • Paul Willis, (1977) Learning to Labour: How working-class kids get working-class jobs. Farnborough: Saxon House.

This is a landmark ethnography about social reproductionism. While some of Willis' conclusions have been heavily critiqued over time, this work remains a very important 20th century text in sociology and education.

  • The Parent’s Guide to Independent Schools.

  • Which School?. Gabbitas, Truman & Thring.

  • The Schools of the United Kingdom. Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd, Publicity House

London history and culture

Two huge tomes from which selections might be made are:

  • Peter Ackroyd, London: A Biography. (Chatto: 2000).

A vast, idiosyncratic and literary exploration of the totality of London. Not for the faint hearted, but enormously rich in allusion and very much an alternative take on the city, its past and people.

  • Ian Sinclair: London: City of Disappearances. (Hamish Hamilton: 2006).

An anthology of London oddities.

Other works on London

  • Felix Barker and Ralph Hyde, London as it Might have Been. (John Murray: 1982).

An extraordinary study of unbuilt London - all sorts of schemes that never came to fruition, but still make us think about the London that we have around us.

  • Halsey, A.H. Change in British Society. Oxford University Press.

  • Stephen Inwood, History of London. (Macmillan: 1998).

A major history but selections from the volume would be good, especially the chapter on the post-second world war period.

  • Jacobs, Eric and Worcester, Robert. We British – Britain Under the Microscope. Weidenfield & Nicholson.

  • Kiek, Jonathan. Everybody’s Historic England – A History and Guide. Quiller Press.

  • Macmillan, Colin Holmes. John Bull’s Island – Immigration and British Society 1871 – 1971.

  • Paxman, Jeremy. Friends in High Places – Who Runs Britain. Penguin, 1990.

  • Roy Porter, London, a Social History. (Hamish Hamilton: 1994).

Roy Porter was one of Britain's greatest social historians. This is extremely strong on the early modern period which was Porter's specialism.

  • Sukhdev Sandhu, London Calling: How Black and Asian Writers Imagined a City. (Harper Collins 2003). Brilliantly chronicles the way black and Asian writers have experienced and re-imagined the city since the 1770s.

  • Saunders, Anne, Art and Architecture of London. (Phaidon: 1996).

A comprehensive, illustrated guide to the architectural treasures of London in the series by Phaidon. Organized geographically, it includes maps, site plans, interiors and exteriors of hundreds of buildings in London and Thames Valley. An excellent sourcebook.

  • Iain Sinclair, Lights out for the Territory; Nine Excursions in the Secret History of London (Granta Books: 1997). An idiosyncratic tour through “hidden” London by one of the most important writers on the underside of the city.

  • John Summerson, Georgian London. (Yale University Press: 2003).

Encompassing the architecture of the capital from the Great Fire of 1666 through the city's early-19th-century expansion, it explores the genesis and development of Georgian London. Summerson examines the way in which building was conditioned by social, economic and financial circumstances.

  • Clare Tomalin, Samuel Pepys. (Viking: 2002).
    This one gives a lively introduction to one of the most fascinating periods in London's history - the age of the Restoration.

  • Ben Weinrab and Christopher Hibbert, London Encyclopaedia. (Macmillan: 1983).

This is a very detailed reference guide to the city - not a one to sit down and read but provides a wealth of information.

  • Geoffrey Grigson’s Countryside. Ebury Press.

  • The Making of Modern English Society from 1850. Janet Roebuck, Routledge & Kegan Paul

  • Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland. Oxford Publishing Company.

  • Britain 1990. An Official Yearbook. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

  • An A-Z of British Life. Adrian Room, Oxford University Press.

Recommended fiction

  • Ali, Monica. Brick Lane (Doubleday: 2003).

  • A post-colonial look at a young Bangladeshi woman forced to move to London for an arranged marriage. London itself does not play a large role in the novel, but a sense of the racialized interactions of the Bangla British is fully developed.

  • Amis, Martin. London Fields (Vintage, 1999).
    A dystopic vision of an East London well beyond political correctness.

  • Ballard, J.G. Millennium people

  • Banks, Iain. Dead air

  • Boyd, Willaiam. Armadillo (Paperback)

  • Small Island by Andrea Levy

  • Chesterton, G.K. The Napoleon of Notting Hill

  • Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist (Oxford, 1999).
    Much of Dickens's fiction is set in London, but this is perhaps the most well known and characteristic tale of the harsh side of city life in the nineteenth century.

  • Gibson, William. Pattern Recognition

  • Hawking, Lucy. Jaded.

  • Hornby, Nick. High Fidelity.

  • Lively, Penelope. City of the Mind. (Penguin: 1991).
    Past and present sometimes interweave in this novel that looks at the effort of the central

  • character to build and restore.

  • McEwan, Ian. Saturday.

  • Rutherford, Edward. London: The Novel. (Ballantine: 1998).
    An historical novel that goes through London’s past.

  • Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. (Penguin: 2000). A key novel on the nature of multicultural London.


  • Stein, Richard. English Seafood Cookery.

  • The Complete Farmhouse Kitchen Cookbook. Collins in association with Yorkshire Television.

DIY (Do it your self)

Collins Complete DIY Manual.

  • Philips Road Atlas of Britain 1991.

  • The RAC Motoring Atlas of Britain.


The following is a list of films set primarily in London, England.

About a Boy Alfie (1966 version)

An American Werewolf in London Bend It Like Beckham

Brick Lane

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Bridget Jones's Diary

Casino Royale (1967 version) Children of Men

Closer Dial M for Murder

Dirty Pretty Things A Fish Called Wanda

Four Weddings and a Funeral A Hard Day's Night

The Italian Job Love Actually

Match Point Mona Lisa

Mrs Henderson Presents Notes on a Scandal

Notting Hill Secrets & Lies

Sliding Doors Truly, Madly, Deeply

What a Girl Wants Wimbledon

Other movies can be found on various websites including:

TV Shows

Absolutely Fabulous Are You Being Served?

Bob and Rose Lead Balloon

Men Behaving Badly The New Statesman - Whitehall

The Office (British version of course) Coupling

East Enders

Other British TV shows can be found on various websites including:

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