On Corbis I found this top image of the library at the 17th-century Holland House. On the night of September 27, 1940 the building was hit by German bombs. This place was private property, so I don’t know why these men would be browsing the shelves the day after the attack. I suspect that the scene may have been staged and printed in the newspapers to boost morale (to showcase British perseverance in the face of the German Blitz).
|Version 1. Holland House, Kensington, London, 1940. Available from Corbis.
Holland House, Kensington, London. An interior view of the bombed library at Holland House with readers apparently choosing books regardless of the damage. Photographed in 1940. The House was heavily bombed during World War II and remained derelict until 1952 when parts of the remains were preserved.
|Interestingly, I noticed that there are actually two versions of this photo. The photographer took the shot from two slightly different angles, and there is an obvious difference in the blown-out white center space.
|London bookshop after German bombing, 1940. Available from AP Images.
Reading history and seeing it, too an amusing sidelight of the latest chapter in London’s history is this lad who, according to the British caption, sits mid the ruins of a London bookshop following an air raid on October 8, 1940 in London, reading the History of London.