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Londoner of the Day goes to the mystery author on a mission to capture and record for prosterity a history of the east end of London – told by the men and women who make the area the place it is.

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Spitalfields Life is a weighty tome penned by a writer who goes by the nom-de-plume; Gentle Author. It captures 150 personal testimonies to tell a story of the fabric of life in a vibrant, if rather unglamorous corner of east London.

One day the project could expand to tell 10,000 stories s/he hopes; an achievement which would surely result in a comprehensive history of great value to historians of today and tomorrow.

A total of 27 years and four months is how long the project will take to be completed.

Explaining why Spitalfields was recorded under a cloak of secrecy, the author explained: “Blogs can be vain, with the blogger’s name and picture at the top. It becomes all about them. But my purpose is to tell the story of the people who live around me with humility and respect—the best way to do that is take me out of the equation. People create their own sense of who it is writing about them.”

Recording the tales of bell-founders, poulterers and a tailor was a “labour of love,” for the nameless author – who originally hails from Exeter in the south west of England; a market town, like Spitalfields.

“I’m passionate that people recognise that it’s more than just shopping mall. It’s about the people here and all their stories—it’s the people that make the place.”

Spitalfields Life is published by Hodder & Stoughton at £20. Check out today’s blog:

London24’s Londoner of the Day aims to find people in the capital who have done something special or made the news and created a talking point for the day. It can be someone famous or an unsung hero such as a charity stalwart.

If you’d like to nominate someone for a future Londoner of the Day mention you can email London24 editor Simon Bull at


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