© Fox Photos / Getty Images, Dec. 1929, London

Fox photographer R. J. Salmon dangles in a crate suspended from a crane to take an aerial shot of Fleet Street, with St. Paul’s in the background. This picture was taken from the Daily Telegraph building. (+)

In the new photo book London: Portrait of a City, editor Reuel Golden says he wanted to use images to “convey the history of the city and tell it in a compelling way that will sort of surprise people as well.” That’s no easy feat when the city in question is one of the world’s oldest. But Golden says he found London’s photographic history was most compelling in three main eras: the Victorian period, the post-World War II era and the swinging ’60s. Images from those particular time periods, according to Golden, best displayed “the character of the city, the soul of the city and the personality of the city.”

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The end result is a 552-page behemoth of a book with hundreds of images from anonymous and amateur photographers, as well as the big names of the business like Bill Brandt and David Bailey.

“It’s important to get a good mix of big, important photographers, but also people who just documented London in a totally, totally different way,” says Golden. “Part of our mission behind these books is to sort of discover lesser known photographers and bring them out to the light of the world.” (read more)

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