Regent Street is one of the best known streets in London. This book traces its development from a royal scheme devised for the Prince Regent by his favourite architect, John Nash, in the 19th century to its role as the 'destination street' of today. It was celebrated as the 'avenue of superfluities' - full of modish shops providing clothes, British and imported dress material, and luxuries like fans, furs and jewellery. So successful were the shopkeepers that rebuilding was necessary by the end of Queen Victoria's reign. Fashionable new shops and department stores in Portland stone replaced Nash's stucco, creating the Regent Street so familiar today, despite two World Wars.
The author, an eminent historian of London, traces the creation of the whole area from the clubs of Waterloo Place along the whole length of Regent Street to the villas of Regent's Park, and discusses the problems its projectors had to overcome. She records the many talented architects and inventive shopkeepers who established the street as a fashionable quarter, and traces the many changes and problems faced by landlords and occupiers in keeping their street in the forefront of style for two centuries.
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