London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, and the most populous city in the European Union.
London is one of the world's major business, political and cultural centres. It is a leader in international finance, politics, communications, entertainment, fashion and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the world's major global cities, and has been an important settlement for nearly 2000 years.
London has an estimated population of 8 million (as of 2011metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. London has an extremely cosmopolitan population, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.
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The city is an international transport hub and a major tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
London has three main central business districts: the City of London, the West End in Westminster and Canary Wharf in Docklands. The City of London is the largest financial and business district in Europe.
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch (or sovereign), and the largest working royal palace remaining in the world. In addition to being the London home of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace is a setting for state occasions and royal entertaining, a base for all officially visiting heads of state, and a major tourist attraction. It has been a rallying point for the British at times of national rejoicing and crisis. The palace, originally known as Buckingham House, was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by King George III in 1762 as a private residence. It was enlarged over the next 75 years, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made during the Victorian era, with the addition of the large wing facing east towards The Mall, and the removal of the former state entrance, Marble Arch, to its present position near Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. (continued...)
Anonymous popular saying, as quoted by William Sansom in Blue Skies, Brown Studies (1961)
||London is a bad habit one hates to lose.
Samuel Johnson was an English author. Beginning as a Grub Street journalist, he made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, novelist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and political conservative, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage, the poems London and The Vanity of Human Wishes, and the play Irene. After nine years of work, Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755; it had a far-reaching impact on Modern English and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship". His later works included essays, an influential annotated edition of William Shakespeare's plays, and the widely read novel Rasselas. In 1763, he befriended James Boswell, with whom he later travelled to Scotland; Johnson described their travels in A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Towards the end of his life, he produced the massive and influential Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, a collection of biographies and evaluations of 17th- and 18th-century poets.