Introducing Romantic London

Romantic London is a research project exploring life and culture in London around the turn of the nineteenth century using Richard Horwood’s pioneering PLAN of the Cities of LONDON and WESTMINSTER the Borough of SOUTHWARK, and PARTS adjoining Shewing every HOUSE (published between 1792 and 1799).

The site is based around two digital version of Horwood’s Plan: the original version and William Faden’s 1819 fourth edition (which shows the considerable changes that occurred in the early nineteenth century).  Both of these are laid over modern maps of the city, allowing for detailed examinations and comparisons.

As well as considering the Plan and its creator, the site uses Horwood’s work as a means of thinking about how writers, publishers and artists chose to represent London’s general character and particularities.  By juxtaposing other contemporary sources with Horwood’s Plan using annotated markers, the site reflects upon the social, geographical and aesthetic assumptions made in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century attempts to systematise the burgeoning metropolis.

Texts brought into conversation with Horwood’s Plan at present include:

Further details of the Plan and all these other works can be accessed using the menus at the top of the page.  Alternatively, you can dive in and look at all the markers at once using this page.

You can follow the changes and developments on the site’s blog.  I’d be very grateful for any feedback about potential future directions and improvements – I can be reached most easily via email.