‘The neighbourhood of Brunswick Square is so very different from almost all the rest. We are so very airy!’ So said an early, fictional, resident of Brunswick Square in 1815, Isabella Knightley, the sister of Emma, the heroine of Jane Austen’s book of the same name. In his newly published book, Ricci de Freitas covers the history of the square and its many famous former residents, in a series of tales and anecdotes that bring to life the changing fortunes of the square over the centuries, from its laying out by James Burton to provide an income for the Foundling Hospital to the post-war demolition and rebuilding and its more recent regeneration. The book is very well illustrated with drawings, pictures and photos old and new of the people and places described. Queen Caroline of Brunswick, after whom the square is named, gets full coverage. The Georgian terraces may not exist anymore, but they are not forgotten and their inhabitants and their activities are well-documented here.
Tales of Brunswick Square – Bloomsbury’s Untold Past (ISBN 9 781871 438635, pp. 275, price £19.95) is published by the Marchmont Association and the proceeds are being kindly donated to the Marchmont Association and Friends of Brunswick Square to support their ongoing work to improve this fascinating district of Bloomsbury. It is available from: