Map Monday #22

Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…

This week I’ve picked ‘The Apothecary’s Daughter’ by Charlotte Betts; which is set a lot closer to home (for me) in London, England.

Book Synopsis:

When Susannah Leyton has grown up behind the counter of her father’s apothecary shop. When she receives a proposal of marriage from handsome merchant Henry Savage, she believes her prayers have been answered. But Henry is a complex & troubled man. As the plague sweeps through the city, tragedy strikes & the secrets of Henry’s past begin to unfold.

Interesting Facts about London:

  • Over 300 languages are spoken in London.
  • Sadiq Khan, current Mayor of London, is the first Muslim mayor of a European Union capital city.
  • The capital is known worldwide for being a rainy city. Except for the fact, that it’s not true at all. London actually sees less rain than Rome, Miami, and Sydney both in terms of volume and number of rainy days.
  • The Great Plague killed roughly 25 million people, which was around a third of the entire population of Europe in the 15th Century. This particularly affected London because of the narrow streets and lack of sanitation
  • Walk the streets of London and most of the people around you probably won’t be ‘true’ Londoners. The resident population of the city of Greater London is just over 8.5 million people. However, the city gets over 16 million visitors every year – a staggering number!
  • It has more Indian Restaurants than Mumbai.
  • The capital of the UK isn’t the only city in the world called London. The U.S. has ten, Canada one, France one – there is even an asteroid called London.
  • The famous children’s hospital, Great Ormond Street, was gifted the rights to Peter Pan in 1929 by the story’s creator, J. M. Barrie. 
  • When the London Underground was first proposed, engineers suggested filling the tunnels with water and using barges to float people from station to station, or getting an army of horses to pull the carriages around in the dark. Evidently, they decided to opt for trains.
  • 1.265 billion people use the London Underground every year.
  • The identity of Jack the Ripper, London’s most notorious serial killer, has never been discovered.
  • In a city filled with grand monuments and huge statues, London has an official ‘smallest statue’. Located on Philpot Lane, the statue of two tiny mice eating cheese is dedicated to two builders who fell during construction of The Monument after an argument over a missing sandwich, that they blamed on each other but was actually the fault of a mice infestation.
  • The Millennium Dome is so big that it can fit the Great Pyramids of Giza comfortably under the roof! The structure is 365m in diameter; and 52m high in the middle; with 12 supporting poles, symbolising days, weeks and months of the year.
  • London has over 170 Museums.
  • In Greenwich, you’ll find the Royal Observatory. This defines not only 0° longitude (i.e., the Prime Meridian), but also Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). That’s what you probably know as Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC, but GMT predates this term by over 300 years.
  • ‘The Great Fire of London’ started in a bakery.
  • For almost a hundred years, it was the largest city in the world, surpassing Beijing’s 1.1 million in the mid-1800s and boasting a population of 7,419,000 by 1914. After that, New York City took the reins. London is now the world’s 33rd largest.

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