Hatton Garden is a well known street in London, renowned for having a high calibre of jewellery and diamond retailers with exquisite products and excellent service. However, there is a lot more to the area than meets the eye. Oral historian Rachel Lichtenstein has delved further into the history of the district in her new book, ‘Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden’.
The text is a follow up to 2007’s ‘On Brick Lane’, part of a trilogy focusing on London studies: an area of interest which has dwindled in recent years. However, Lichtenstein has a personal connection to the Hatton Garden area – her grandparents and parents run a store there, and as a student Lichtenstein helped out, pricing stock and delivering supplies. As a trained sculptor, her passion for the craftsmanship of the industry’s cutters, setters and polishers shines through.
However, although it is obviously an essential part of any guide to Hatton Garden, ‘Diamond Street’ does not just focus on jewellery. Lichtenstein goes into great detail in a number of aspects, from interviewing some of Hatton Garden’s oldest characters, to searching through archives and discussing the street’s Jewish roots and cultural history.
‘Diamond Street’ provides a truly immersive reading experience, and is a must buy for anyone who wants to know more about the past of one of London’s most fascinating places.