Joanna Lowry | December 30th, 2013
Roger Dean is a photographer who runs a clever blog called Esoteric London. It has a simple premise: every day he pairs a piece of writing about ye olde London town with a modern snap shot of the city. An extract about Shoreditch’s bird market, penned in 1883, is accompanied by a shot of Roa’s famous crane mural on Hanbury Street. Charles Dickens’ musings on street pedestrians and scaffolding, published in 1882, feature alongside a photo of the 2013 Sou Fujimoto-designed Serpentine Pavilion, a lattice of steel polls set against London’s perpetually grey sky.
Dean’s words/image pairings are enlightening, imaginative and unexpected. The book — self-published and available here — is a collection of some of the best. Tourists will appreciate the inclusion of Victorian treasures (Abney Park Cemetery and the Dennis Severs’ House) and famous architecture (Centre Point, South Bank Centre). Locals will appreciate the oblique references to oft-overlooked pockets of their hometown. A must have for anyone seeking to see London in a more colourful light.