“I am desperately in love with London, and if I were a man of the world I would live here.”
This statement captures the feelings of an academic who began visiting London as part of BYU’s Study Abroad Program, visits that ignited a passion for London and resulted in the 2004 publication of Walking through London’s History.
“When I first started going on Study Abroad in 1976, we had six-month programs,” explained Arthur Bassett, emeritus professor of humanities. “We spent about a month on the continent, eight days in Russia, eight days in Israel, and London became a launching pad.”
In those early days, Bassett taught Humanities 202 and used the time to prepare for what they would see on the “continent.” From art to architecture, the focus was on European galleries and museums. “The art we discussed was in the Louvre or elsewhere in Europe,” he said. “The artistic heritage of London (and the UK in general) was largely ignored. Yet, London, which is, in my opinion, a destination itself, has a romance all its own—you can’t go any place in London without historical levels three or four deep; you really are walking through history when you are in London.”