A 1933 Review of "The London Roundabout"
THE LONDON ROUNDABOUT. Written and Illustrated by Jan and Cora Gordon.
10 s . 6 dL net. London : Harrap
Mr and Mrs Gordon describe themselves as "casual collectors of London character," and in its casualness lies one of the charms of an original and lively book.
They returned to the Metropolis after many years' residence in Paris, and it is the story of their experiences and impressions there that they tell with such gusto.
It will do many Londoners good to read what they say for the Londoner is often the most parochially-minded of citizens. Anything that happens beyond the confines of the capital and the Home Counties has to be extremely important or sensational to interest him, and as for London itself - well, was there ever such a city?
The authors tell him about quite a lot of things that could be improved in London, and in which it compares unfavourably with other cities.
That is the serious side of the book. But those who know their Gordons know that these authors cannot remain serious for long—there is always a considerable spice of humour in their literary pudding — and excellent entertainment it makes.
The Caledonian Market for instance : where is there just so readable an account of that bargain-hunter's paradise as one finds here? And the char-ladies and others of the London poor, how they have possession of the reader's interest and sympathy!
The authors do not mince words in their descriptions of certain people and their conditions. Their frankness is all to the good. The London Roundabout, with its genius for the grotesque in illustration, its clever creation - or description, it is difficult to know which - of characters; and its brilliant flash-lights upon some of the dark spots of the Metropolis, is a book for study as well as entertainment, with a fascination that is sure to secure it many readers.
Some further accounts of the return of the Gordons to London can be found in the following:
Jan and Cora Gordon return to London. March 11, 2014
Jan and Cora Gordon: London Places. July 14, 2014
Jan and Cora Gordon "By the Fireside", 1933. September 25, 2015
"Jan and Cora Gordon Try Settling in London", Yorkshire Evening Post 1933. September 25, 2015