Penguin Books is a British publishing house. It was co-founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane, his brothers Richard and John, as a line of the publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence, bringing high-quality paperback fiction and non-fiction to the mass market. Penguin's success demonstrated. Penguin had a significant impact on public debate in Britain, through its books on British culture, the arts, science. Penguin Books is now an imprint of the worldwide Penguin Random House, an emerging conglomerate, formed in 2013 by the merger with American publisher Random House. Penguin Group was wholly owned by British Pearson PLC, the global media company which owned the Financial Times, but in the new umbrella company it retains only a minority holding of 25% of the stock against Random House owner, German media company Bertelsmann, which controls the majority stake.
It is one of the largest English-language publishers known as the "Big Six", now the "Big Five", along with Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster. The first Penguin paperbacks were published in 1935, but at first only as an imprint of The Bodley Head with the books distributed from the crypt of Holy Trinity Church Marylebone. Only paperback editions were published until the "King Penguin" series debuted in 1939, latterly the Pelican History of Art was undertaken: these were unsuitable as paperbacks because of the length and copious illustrations on art paper so cloth bindings were chosen instead. Penguin Books has its registered office in the City of Westminster, England. Anecdotally, Lane recounted how it was his experience with the poor quality of reading material on offer at Exeter train station that inspired him to create cheap, well designed quality books for the mass market; however the question of how publishers could reach a larger public had been the subject of a conference at Rippon Hall, Oxford in 1934 which Lane had attended.
Though the publication of literature in paperback was associated with poor quality lurid fiction, the Penguin brand owed something to the short-lived Albatross imprint of British and American reprints that traded in 1932. Inexpensive paperbacks did not appear viable to Bodley Head, since the deliberately low price of 6d. Made profitability seem unlikely; this helped Allen Lane purchase publication rights for some works more cheaply than he otherwise might have done since other publishers were convinced of the short term prospects of the business. In the face of resistance from the traditional book trade it was the purchase of 63,000 books by Woolworths Group that paid for the project outright, confirmed its worth and allowed Lane to establish Penguin as a separate business in 1936. By March 1936, ten months after the company's launch on 30 July 1935, one million Penguin books had been printed; this early flush of success brought expansion and the appointment of Eunice Frost, first as a secretary as editor and as a director, to have a pivotal influence in shaping the company.
It was Frost who in 1945 was entrusted with the reconstruction of Penguin Inc after the departure of its first managing director Ian Ballantine. Penguin Inc had been incorporated in 1939 in order to satisfy US copyright law, had enjoyed some success under its vice president Kurt Enoch with such titles as What Plane Is That and The New Soldier Handbook despite being a late entrant into an well established paperback market. From the outset, design was essential to the success of the Penguin brand. Avoiding the illustrated gaudiness of other paperback publishers, Penguin opted for the simple appearance of three horizontal bands, the upper and lower of which were colour-coded according to which series the title belonged to. In the central white panel, the author and title were printed in Gill Sans and in the upper band was a cartouche with the legend "Penguin Books"; the initial design was created by the 21-year-old office junior Edward Young, who drew the first version of the Penguin logo. Series such as Penguin Specials and The Penguin Shakespeare had individual designs.
The colour schemes included: orange and white for general fiction and white for crime fiction and white for travel and adventure, dark blue and white for biographies and white for miscellaneous and white for drama. Lane resisted the introduction of cover images for several years; some recent publications of literature from that time have duplicated the original look. From 1937 and on, the headquarters of Penguin Books was at Harmondsworth west of London and so it remained until the 1990s when a merge with Viking involved the head office moving to London; the Second World War saw the company established as a national institution, though it had no formal role, Penguin was integral to the war effort thanks in no small part to the publication of such bestselling manuals as Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps and Aircraft Recognition and supplying books for the services and British POWs. Penguin printed some 600 titles and started nineteen new series in the six years of the war and a time of enormous increase in the demand for books Penguin enjoyed a privileged place among its peers.
Paper rationing was the besetting problem of publishers during wartime, with the fall of France cutting off supp
Devon known as Devonshire, its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the north east, Dorset to the east; the city of Exeter is the county town. The county includes the districts of East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and West Devon. Plymouth and Torbay are each geographically part of Devon, but are administered as unitary authorities. Combined as a ceremonial county, Devon's area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million. Devon derives its name from Dumnonia. During the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, the early Middle Ages, this was the homeland of the Dumnonii Brittonic Celts; the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries. The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936.
Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England. The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, the county's bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns, ports; the inland terrain is rural and hilly, has a lower population density than many other parts of England. Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England, at 954 km2. To the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is more fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart, the Otter; as well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is based on tourism. The comparatively mild climate and landscape make Devon a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with visitors attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; the name Devon derives from the name of the Britons who inhabited the southwestern peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain known as the Dumnonii, thought to mean "deep valley dwellers" from proto Celtic *dubnos'deep'.
In the Brittonic, Devon is known as Welsh: Dyfnaint, Breton: Devnent and Cornish: Dewnens, each meaning "deep valleys." Among the most common Devon placenames is -combe which derives from Brittonic cwm meaning'valley' prefixed by the name of the possessor. William Camden, in his 1607 edition of Britannia, described Devon as being one part of an older, wider country that once included Cornwall: THAT region which, according to the Geographers, is the first of all Britaine, growing straiter still and narrower, shooteth out farthest into the West, was in antient time inhabited by those Britans whom Solinus called Dumnonii, Ptolomee Damnonii For their habitation all over this Countrey is somewhat low and in valleys, which manner of dwelling is called in the British tongue Dan-munith, in which sense the Province next adjoyning in like respect is at this day named by the Britans Duffneit, to say, Low valleys, but the Country of this nation is at this day divided into two parts, knowen by names of Cornwall and Denshire, The term "Devon" is used for everyday purposes e.g. "Devon County Council" but "Devonshire" continues to be used in the names of the "Devonshire and Dorset Regiment" and "The Devonshire Association".
One erroneous theory is that the "shire" suffix is due to a mistake in the making of the original letters patent for the Duke of Devonshire, resident in Derbyshire. However, there are references to "Defenascire" in Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD, which translates to modern English as "Devonshire"; the term Devonshire may have originated around the 8th century, when it changed from Dumnonia to Defenascir. Kents Cavern in Torquay had produced. Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC; the Romans held the area under military occupation for around 350 years. The area began to experience Saxon incursions from the east around 600 AD, firstly as small bands of settlers along the coasts of Lyme Bay and southern estuaries and as more organised bands pushing in from the east. Devon became a frontier between Brittonic and Anglo-Saxon Wessex, it was absorbed into Wessex by the mid 9th century. A genetic study carried out by the University of Oxford & University College London discovered separate genetic groups in Cornwall and Devon, not only were there differences on either side of the Tamar, with a division exactly along the modern county boundary dating back to the 6th Century but between Devon and the rest of Southern England, similarities with the modern northern France, including Brittany.
This suggests the Anglo-Saxon migration into Devon was limited rather than a mass movement of people. The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD. Danish raids occurred sporadically along many coastal parts of Devon between around 800AD and just before the time of the Norman conquest, including the silver mint at Hlidaforda Lydford in 997 and Taintona in 1001. Devon has featured in most of th
Anarcho-syndicalism is a theory of anarchism that views revolutionary industrial unionism or syndicalism as a method for workers in capitalist society to gain control of an economy and thus control influence in broader society. Syndicalists consider their economic theories a strategy for facilitating worker self-activity and as an alternative co-operative economic system with democratic values and production centered on meeting human needs; the basic principles of anarcho-syndicalism are solidarity, direct action and direct democracy, or workers' self-management. The end goal of syndicalism is to abolish the wage system. Anarcho-syndicalist theory therefore focuses on the labour movement. Anarcho-syndicalists view the primary purpose of the state as being the defense of private property, therefore of economic and political privilege, denying most of its citizens the ability to enjoy material independence and the social autonomy that springs from it. Reflecting the anarchist philosophy from which it draws its primary inspiration, anarcho-syndicalism is centred on the idea that power corrupts and that any hierarchy that cannot be ethically justified must either be dismantled or replaced by decentralized egalitarian control.
Hubert Lagardelle wrote that Pierre-Joseph Proudhon laid out fundamental ideas of anarcho-syndicalism and repudiated both capitalism and the state in the process since he viewed free economic groups and struggle, not pacifism, as dominant in humans. In September 1903 and March 1904, Sam Mainwaring published in Britain two issues of a short-lived newspaper called The General Strike, a publication that made detailed criticisms of the "officialism" of union bureaucracy and publicized strikes in Europe making use of syndicalist tactics. In 1910, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo was founded in the middle of the restoration in Barcelona in a congress of the Catalan trade union Solidaridad Obrera with the objective of constituting an opposing force to the then-majority trade union, the socialist UGT and "to speed up the economic emancipation of the working class through the revolutionary expropriation of the bourgeoisie"; the CNT started small, counting 26,571 members represented through several trade unions and other confederations.
In 1911, coinciding with its first congress, the CNT initiated a general strike that provoked a Barcelona judge to declare the union illegal until 1914. That same year of 1911, the trade union received its name. From 1918 on, the CNT grew stronger and had an outstanding role in the events of the La Canadiense general strike, which paralyzed 70% of industry in Catalonia in 1919, the year the CNT reached a membership of 700,000. Around that time, panic spread among employers, giving rise to the practice of pistolerismo, causing a spiral of violence that affected the trade union; these pistoleros are credited with killing 21 union leaders in 48 hours. In 1922, the International Workers' Association was founded in Berlin and the CNT joined but with the rise of Miguel Primo de Rivera's dictatorship the labor union was outlawed once again the following year. However, with the workers' movement resurgent following the Russian Revolution, what was to become the modern IWA was formed, billing itself as the "true heir" of the original International.
The successful Bolshevik-led revolution of 1918 in Russia was mirrored by a wave of syndicalist successes worldwide, including the struggle of the Industrial Workers of the World in the United States alongside the creation of mass anarchist unions across Latin America and huge syndicalist-led strikes in Germany, Spain and France, where it was noted that "neutral syndicalism had been swept away". The final formation of this new International known as the International Workingmen's Association, took place at an illegal conference in Berlin in December 1922, marking an irrevocable break between the international syndicalist movement and the Bolsheviks; the Italian Syndicalist Union: 500,000 members The Argentine Workers Regional Organisation: 200,000 The General Confederation of Workers in Portugal: 150,000 The Free Workers' Union of Germany: 120,000 The Committee for the Defense of Revolutionary Syndicalism in France: 100,000 The Federation du Combattant from Paris: 32,000 The Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden: 32,000 The National Labor Secretariat of the Netherlands: 22,500 The Industrial Workers of the World in Chile: 20,000 The Union for Syndicalist Propaganda in Denmark: 600The first secretaries of the International included the famed writer and activist Rudolph Rocker, along with Augustin Souchy and Alexander Schapiro.
Following the first congress, other groups affiliated from France, Denmark, Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania. A bloc of unions in the United States, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador shared the IWA's statutes; the biggest syndicalist union in the United States was the IWW and considered joining, but ruled out affiliation in 1936 by citing the IWA's policies on religious and political affiliation. Although not anarcho-syndicalist, the IWW were informed by developments in the broader revolutionary syndicalist milieu at the turn of the 20th century. At its founding congress in 1905, influential members with strong anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist sympathies like Thomas J. Hagerty, William Trautmann and Lucy Parsons contributed to the union's overall revolutionary syndicalist orientation. Although
Shrewsbury Town F.C.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a professional football club in Shrewsbury, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. The club was formed in 1886 and was elected to the Football League in 1950; the club has since competed in each of the lower three tiers of the Football League, in addition to one season spent in the Conference Premier in 2003–04. It has competed in the Welsh Cup, winning it six times, a record for an English team. Between 1910 and 2007, the club was based at Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn. Shrewsbury Town were formed in 1886, following the demise of first Shropshire Wanderers and indirectly Castle Blues; the Blues were a rough team. The new team hoped to be as successful but without the notoriety. Press reports differ as to the date the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May 1886 reported the birth of the club at The Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury; the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the club's being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury.
It may be both accounts, with a get-together at The Lion being finalised at the Turf. After friendlies and regional cup competitions for the first few seasons, Shrewsbury were founder members of the Shropshire & District League in 1890–91 admitted to the Birmingham & District League in 1895–96. Many of the teams Town faced in the early days have vanished, however Shrewsbury met many of today's Football League and Conference teams, including Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City, Stoke City, Kidderminster Harriers and Stafford Rangers. In 1910, Shrewsbury looked to move to a new ground, having spent early years at locations across the town, notably at Copthorne Barracks west of the town; the club moved to Gay Meadow on the edge of the town centre, within sight of Shrewsbury Abbey, stayed 97 years. Shrewsbury's Birmingham League days were mid-table, with a few seasons challenging near the top, the club being league champions in 1922–23. A move to the Midland Champions League in 1937–38 saw the club enjoy one of its most successful seasons, winning a league and cup treble.
Shrewsbury were league champions, scoring 111 goals. In addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, won the Shropshire Senior Cup. After a run of good seasons in post-war years, Shrewsbury were admitted, alongside Scunthorpe United to the old Division 3 of the Football League in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949–50, following the decision to expand from 88 to 92 clubs. Shrewsbury gained their first promotion, to the Third Division, in 1958–59, they remained in the third tier 15 years, slipping back to Division Four at the end of 1973–74. 1960–61 season saw Shrewsbury Town reach the Semi Final of the League Cup. After beating Everton in the quarter-finals, they narrowly lost over two legs 4–3 on aggregate to Rotherham United; this era was remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived from Leicester City in the club's first player/manager. During his playing and managerial career, he broke Dixie Dean's goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 29 April 1961.
Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained manager until July 1968. Shrewsbury were promoted to the Third Division in 1974–75 as runners-up, before another successful season in 1978–79, when they were league champions under Ritchie Barker and Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on 17 May 1979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 4–1 win over Exeter City. In addition, the club had their first run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, before a replay defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Turner is the team's most successful manager, winning the Third Division Championship in 1978–79 – his first season in charge – to take the club into the Second Division for the first time, they remained for ten years, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984. Shrewsbury repeated their 1979 feat of reaching the quarter-final in 1981–82, defeating UEFA Cup holders Ipswich Town in the fifth round before defeat away to Leicester City; the 1980s saw many big teams defeated by Shrewsbury, whose period in the old Second Division coincided with some of the current Premier League clubs.
During the 1980s, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Chelsea lost to Shrewsbury Town. Middlesbrough were defeated at Gay Meadow at the end of 1985–86, Shrewsbury winning 2–1, relegating Middlesbrough, who went out of business and out of existence; the match was marred by violence from Middlesbrough fans, with many of them having to return to Shrewsbury for court appearances. In the early to mid-1980s the club enjoyed. Shrewsbury survived through the sale of players, with some to have played for Shrewsbury including Steve Ogrizovic, David Moyes, John McGinlay and Bernard McNally, they were relegated at the end of 1988–89 after ten years. In the Third Division, on 22 December 1990, Gary Shaw scored the quickest Town hat trick – 4 minutes and 32 seconds – against Bradford City at Valley Parade. At the end of 1991–92, three years after relegation to the Third Division, the club was relegated to the Fourth – the first time since 1975. However, two seasons Shrewsbury won the new Division Three championship under Fred Davies in 1993–94, remained in Division Two three seasons.
Shrewsbury were not to rise any further, remaining mid-table before slipping down again at the end of 1996–97. The 1990s saw Shrewsbury make their first appearance at Wembley as finalists in the 1996 Football League Trophy final. Shre
A blood sport is a category of sport or entertainment that involves bloodshed. Common examples of the former include combat sports such as cockfighting and dog fighting and some forms of hunting and fishing. Activities characterized as blood sports, but involving only human participants, include the Ancient Roman gladiatorial games. According to Tanner Carson, the earliest use of the term is in reference to mounted hunting, where the quarry would be chased, as in fox hunting or hare coursing. Before firearms a hunter using arrows or a spear might wound an animal, which would be chased and killed at close range, as in medieval boar hunting; the term was popularised by author Henry Stephens Salt. The term seems to have been applied to various kinds of baiting and forced combat: bull-baiting, bear-baiting and developments such as dog fighting and rat-baiting; the animals were specially bred for fighting. In the Victorian era, social reformers began a vocal opposition to such activities, claiming grounds of ethics and animal welfare.
Animal rights and animal welfare advocates have sought to extend the term blood sport to various types of hunting. Trophy hunting and fox hunting in particular have been disparaged as "blood sports" by those concerned about animal welfare, animal ethics and conservation. Recreational fishing has sometimes been described as a blood sport by those within the recreation. Limitations on blood sports have been enacted in much of the world. Certain blood sports remain legal under varying degrees of control in certain locations but have declined in popularity elsewhere. Proponents of blood sports are cited to believe that they are traditional within the culture. Bullfighting aficionados, for example, do not regard bullfighting as a sport but as a cultural activity, it is sometimes called a tragic spectacle, because in many forms of the event, the bull is invariably killed and the bullfighter is always at risk of death. Many online video-sharing websites such as YouTube do not allow videos of animal bloodsports to be shown on the site.
Blood sports have been a common theme in fiction. While historical fiction depicts real-life sports such as gladiatorial games and jousting, speculative fiction, not least dystopic science fiction suggests variants of blood sports in a contemporary or future society; some popular works themed on blood sports are Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, The Running Man, The Long Walk, Fight Club, Death Race 2000, Amores Perros, "The Most Dangerous Game". Blood sports are a common setting for video games, making up much of the fighting game genre. Developed science fiction universes such as Star Wars and Doctor Who feature different blood sports. Ancient Greek boxing Boxing Combat sport Mixed martial arts Gladiatoral spectacles Muay Boran Muay Thai Pankration Pasola Animals in sport Damnatio ad bestias Animal festival or ritual Baiting Illegal sports Venatio Don Atyeo and Guts: Violence in Sports, Grosset & Dunlap, 1979. ISBN 0448220008 Irish Council Against Blood Sports YouTube footage of a captive deer being pursued by hounds and horsemen World Society for the Protection of Animals Cage fighting and the rise of the UFC
Augustus Edwin John was a Welsh painter and etcher. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom, he was the brother of the painter Gwen John. "Augustus was celebrated first for his brilliant figure drawings, for a new technique of oil sketching. His work was favourably compared in London with that of Matisse, he developed a style of portraiture, imaginative and extravagant, catching an instantaneous attitude in his subjects." Born in Tenby, John was the younger son and third of four children. His father was a Welsh solicitor. At the age of seventeen he attended the Tenby School of Art left Wales for London, studying at the Slade School of Art, University College London, he became the star pupil of drawing teacher Henry Tonks and before his graduation he was recognised as the most talented draughtsman of his generation. His sister, Gwen became an important artist in her own right. In 1897, John hit submerged rocks diving into the sea at Tenby.
In 1898, he won the Slade Prize with the Brazen Serpent. John afterward studied independently in Paris where he seems to have been influenced by Puvis de Chavannes; the need to support Ida Nettleship, whom he married in 1901, led him to accept a post teaching art at the University of Liverpool. Augustus John and his student James Dickson Innes spent two years painting in the Arenig valley around 1910 the mountain Arenig Fawr. In 2011 this period was made the subject of a BBC documentary titled The Mountain That Had to Be Painted; some time in 1910, John fell in love with the town of Martigues, in Provence, located halfway between Arles and Marseilles, first seen from a train en route to Italy. John wrote that Provence "had been for years the goal of my dreams" and Martigues was the town for which he felt the greatest affection. "With a feeling that I was going to find what I was seeking, an anchorage at last, I returned from Marseilles, changing at Pas des Lanciers, took the little railway which leads to Martigues.
On arriving my premonition proved correct: there was no need to seek further." The connection with Provence continued until 1928, by which time John felt the town had lost its simple charm, he sold his home there. He was, throughout his life interested in the Romani people, sought them out on his frequent travels around the United Kingdom and Europe. For a time, shortly after his marriage, he and his family, which included his wife Ida, mistress Dorothy McNeill, John's children by both women, travelled in a caravan, in gypsy fashion. On he became the President of the Gypsy Lore Society, a position he held from 1937 until his death in 1961. During World War I, he was attached to the Canadian forces as a war artist and made a number of memorable portraits of Canadian infantrymen; the end result was to have been a huge mural for Lord Beaverbrook and the sketches and cartoon for this suggest that it might have become his greatest large-scale work. However, like so many of his monumental conceptions, it was never completed.
As a war artist, he was allowed to keep his facial hair and therefore, he and King George V were the only Army officers in the Allied forces to have a beard, apart from pioneer sergeants and those who were allowed unshaven for medical reasons. After two months in France he was sent home in disgrace after taking part in a brawl. Lord Beaverbrook, whose intervention saved John from a court-martial, sent him back to France where he produced studies for a proposed Canadian War Memorial picture, although the only major work to result from the experience was Fraternity. In 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveiled this mural at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa; this unfinished painting, The Canadians Opposite Lens, is 12 feet high by 40 feet long. Although well-known early in the century for his drawings and etchings, the bulk of John's work consisted of portraits, some of the best of which were of his two wives and his children, he was known for the psychological insight of his portraits, many of which were considered "cruel" for the truth of the depiction.
Lord Leverhulme was so upset with his portrait that he cut out the head but when the remainder of the picture was returned by error to John there was an international outcry over the desecration. By the 1920s John was Britain's leading portrait painter. John painted many distinguished contemporaries, including T. E. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Lady Gregory, Tallulah Bankhead, George Bernard Shaw, the cellist Guilhermina Suggia, the Marchesa Casati and Elizabeth Bibesco, his most famous portrait is of his fellow-countryman, Dylan Thomas, whom he introduced to Caitlin Macnamara, his sometime lover who became Thomas' wife. Portraits of Dylan Thomas by John are held by the National Museum Wales and the National Portrait Gallery, it was said. One critic has claimed that "the painterly brilliance of his early work degenerated into flashiness and bombast, the second half of his long career added little to his achievement." However, from time to time his inspiration returne
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion