Susan Jellis has written a book about Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens which has been beautifully illustrated with original sketches by Nick Andrew
This book showcases these diverse squares, traces their history and gives a sense of their life today. There are 13 double page illustrations which bring the modern activities of the squares to life, as well as studies of statues and other aspects of the gardens.
All the proceeds are going to support the work of the Association and the Friends groups. The book is available from Skoob Books in the Brunswick or skoob.com, as are some other books about the squares (see below).
You can watch videos of the artist talking about making his sketches in the squares, and of Griff Rhys Jones strolling through them, below:
Local resident and broadcaster Griff Rhys Jones kindly gave us his time to visit our squares and make a video of his impressions for the Bloomsbury Festival. Watch the video Strolling the Bloomsbury Gardens with Griff Rhys Jones here:
‘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 well illustrated 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 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 (2014, ISBN 9 781871 438635, pp. 275, price £19.95). Proceeds are being kindly donated to Friends groups to support their ongoing work to improve this fascinating district of Bloomsbury. Available locally from Skoob Bookshop in the Brunswick Centre or skoob.com
Local historian Ricci de Freitas has produced a splendid companion volume to his earlier book ‘Tales of Brunswick Square -Bloomsbury’s Untold Past‘. It documents the development of the area from open fields where robberies and murders were committed to the spacious streets and splendid garden squares where ‘polished society’ could feel at home. In a metaphorical house-to-house stroll around the foremost Bloomsbury square the lives of its most notable former occupants are revealed in prose and lavish illustrations. Fascinating before and after photographs clearly show the changes, especially since the years of the Second World War.
From Fields to Fountains -The Story of Bloomsbury’s Russell Square (2016, price £19.95, available locally from Skoob Bookshop in the Brunswick Centre or skoob.com