Jenny Grainger, author of Vanished Villages of Middlesex, recently completed her most recent work. A book on the early history of the Forest City, with never before seen photographs.
The book entitled Early London: A Photographic History from the Orr Collection, is focused on the period between 1826 and 1914, the photographs offer an interesting perspective on the rise of a humble frontier village to a bustling city.
“They’re kind of a documentation of our past,” Grainger says from the second floor of Attic Books on Dundas Street, her nine-to-five. “Much of our past simply has disappeared but when you look at the buildings, you’re looking at a tangible reminder of our history.”
Grainger’s research sheds light on how the city got to where it is now, tracing its Victorian roots through an examination of its early structures, streetscapes, industry, sports, and the many ups and downs of everyday life.
“It’ll probably awaken some memories for some older people who remember some of the buildings and some of the scenes, but I think it will also be interesting to people who maybe didn’t realize just how much change we’ve had in just over 100 years,” Grainger said.
Downtown London is also highlighted in the book and its transformation stands out to Grainger.