Celebrating 150 years of the London Underground, Penguin Books this year have launched their Penguin Line range, to commemorate the various lines of the underground. Each of the twelve books focus on a particular line. The books vary from historical, personal to historical.
“The city is filled with stories. In twelve books, twelve writers tell their tales of London life, each inspired by a different Underground line. Some are personal, some are polemical; every one is unique.”- Penguin
In his Earthbound, Paul Morley describes the Bakerloo Line while reminising on post-punk and his first Sony Walkman. Camila Batmanghelidjh and the Kids Company’s Mind the Child focuses on the Victoria Line and tells of poverty-stricken children whose parents are drug addicts. Conversely, John O’Farrell approaches the Jubilee Line from a speculative and comedic perspective in his A History of Capitalism According to the Jubilee Line, in which a train becomes stuck in the underground because the economy on the surface world has collapsed. The books have all been published in 2013 and all approach the history of the London underground in their own unique ways. While some are distressing and disturbing, others are more upbeat, but each offers an intriguing tale of an iconic London phenomenon.