We've been selling this card for over a year now, but every time it went onto screen some aspect of the artwork was missing; once the heart, then the poodle's bow! Finally printing off a few hundred, I got to thinking about the telephone box (the K2 in particular) and how the curve of the roof is based on Sir John Soane's family tomb. Part of his own architectural vernacular, you can see the domed-square especially clearly on The Dulwich Picture Gallery. This seemed like the kind of trivia you might pick up watching The London Nobody Knows (1969) or, even better, Patrick Kellior's elegiac London (1994).
Of all paeans to London though, Patrick Hamilton's Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky (1935) steals the best title, suggesting the manifold intertwining narratives of millions, humbled by the city's scale. But then I accidentally read Wordsworth's Upon Westminster Bridge (1802) while searching for something in an entirely different emotional key. Just beautiful.
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!