From the Preface by Tetsuya Iseki:
A Survey of London was originally published by John Stow (c. 1525–1605) in 1598. Stow was a chronicler and antiquary who edited literary works and archaeological texts (his first publication was Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, newly edited in 1561). In 1603 Stow published a new edition with corrections and additions, and it achieved immediate popular success. Even after his death, the work was reprinted in 1618 (Anthony Munday’s new edition), and again in 1633, but then disappeared from print until the end of the century. (The 1603 edition which was re-edited by C. L. Kingsford was issued by Oxford University Press in 1908, and later reprinted as the facsimile edition in 2000.)
After the Great Fire of 1666, the state of London depicted and recorded in Stow’s Survey was greatly transformed. In 1694 Richard Blome (who published a new edition of William Camden’s Britannia) made an attempt to publish his new edition of Stow’s Survey with maps and many additions to describe the rebuilding of London after the Fire, but this was not successful. In 1702 John Strype (1643–1737), who had already achieved fame as an editor of historical and biographical documents, started editing Blome’s abortive work and created a new edition to answer the need for a current version of Stow’s Survey. Strype was said to have completed his edition (in two folio volumes) by November 1707, while a similar, rival book, A New View of London by Edward Hatton, was going to be published the following year. The booksellers gave up Strype’s Survey because Hatton’s publication was a smaller and cheaper edition. As it turned out, however, Hatton’s View of London could not satisfy the demand for a more scholarly updated edition of Stow’s Survey, and Strype’s project was revived in 1716 and finally published in December 1720.
Strype’s Survey of London is basically an enlarged edition of Stow’s Survey, but the main body of the text and the maps are essentially taken from Blome’s 1694 edition. A mere reading of Strype’s Survey will reinforce the claim that the work is full of information about the late Stuart capital: the economics, politics, religion, architecture, and moral life of his day. Maps and plates of Strype’s Survey retain vivid visual details and, more than any other previous attempts, successfully remap the prosperous state of London. Pre-Fire maps were pictorial bird’s-eye views, in which buildings and landmarks are privileged over topographical accuracy, but alleys and yards are often obscured. The two-dimensional maps were published by John Ogilby and William Morgan after the fire in 1677. A large number of illustrations in Strype’s new edition show the details of the capital’s parishes and wards, including important historical buildings within and without the City both in two dimensions and bird’s-eye views.
Strype’s Survey of London was priced at six guineas, and some 700 copies were published. Now the original is rarely found and the condition of the copies in the British Library or the ones in some other big libraries are not sound enough for reprint use. The present reprint is from my personal unspoiled copy of the 1720 edition. All texts and visual images derive from this copy. The work was originally published in two volumes: Volume 1 contains Books 1–3 and Volume 2 contains Books 4–6, plus appendices. This reprinted edition consists of three volumes: Volume 1 (Books 1, 2), Volume 2 (Books 3, 4), and Volume 3 (Books 5, 6). The texts are in the original fount and all illustrations and maps are inserted as foldouts.
A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster: Containing the Original, Antiquity, Increase, Modern Estate and Government of those Cities … now lastly corrected, by John STOW, Improved and very much Enlarged by JOHN STRYPE, In Six Books + Appendix + Index + 70 Engraved Maps and Plates
London: Printed for A. Churchill, J. Knapton, R. Knaplock … 1720
New Preface by Tetsuya Iseki, Kwassui Women’s College, Nagasaki
Preface by John Strype / Stow’s Epistle Dedicatory / The Life of John Stow / A Catalogue of Authors, Records and Manuscripts / A List of Subscribers Names
The First Book (c. 370pp.): General Description of the City of London, and Some Account of the Citizens
The Second Book (c. 290pp.): Particular Inspection into the Thirteen Wards on the East Side of Walbrooke
The Third Book (c. 290pp.): Inspection into the Twelve Wards on the West Side of Walbrooke
The Fourth Book (c. 120pp.): Inspection into the Ward of the Borough of Southwark, as also into the Suburbs of the City, and the Liberty of the Dutchy of Lancaster
The Fifth Book (c. 460pp.): Account of the Government of the City
The Sixth Book (c. 95pp.): Account of Westminster
Appendix (c. 170 pp.)
Index (c. 25pp.)