This beautiful graphic novel tells the story of South London’s great north wood. Remnants of the wood can be found in the names and places of Norwood, Sydenham, Forest Hill, Honor Oak Park, Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill and others.
Using a local fox to guide us from prehistory to today, The Great North Wood shows how important the forest was to the development of South London and celebrates its continuity to today. On the way we learn some excellent facts. I was intrigued to find out that Pear Tree House block of flats in SE19 was built to be “a control centre in the event of a nuclear attack on London”, and the book even includes a floorplan of the reinforced concrete basement. Sharp modern realities exist alongside ancient magic in this enchanting account.
As so many of our regular customers head home from London Bridge to these areas, I am sure that they will recognise the depictions of bus stops and chicken shops. The gorgeous colour palette helps make this a book to return to again and again.
Many South Londoners will be getting this for Christmas from me. Hopefully they aren’t reading this.