Emblem of Empire
Trafalgar Square tells the story of the creation and use of one of London’s most famous landmarks, from its beginnings in the 1840s up until the present day. Drawing on detailed archival research, it describes how the Square and its memorials to military and naval heroes - including of course Nelson - were conceived, quarrelled over and finally, after many years of building and delays, completed.
In 1848, while the Square was still in the making, demonstrations there were prohibited, and ever since that time the story of the Square has been marked by celebration, rallies, public agitation and the perennial fight for free speech. A new foreword by Ken Livingstone describes the Square’s current life as a central gathering place for London.
Rodney Mace is writer, broadcaster and historian. He is author of British Trade Union Posters (1999)
‘a delightful mixture of scholarship and wit’
A J P Taylor, The Observer
‘a very unusual combination of art and political history’
Times Literary Supplement
‘an excellent piece of urban history because it describes a part of the city from the point of view not just of those who built and regulated it, but of those who have used it as well’