The London Spy by Ned Ward(1660/67 – June 20, 1731) was a periodical about London life, later published as a book. He first published the story as a series of 16-page periodicals during 1698–1700, comprising 18 folio editions, printed as a collection in book form in 1703 by J. How of London, a mile from where Ward had his pub (public house). The parts are arranged topographically, the story being told by the author under the persona of 'The London Spy'. It concerns his adventures as an "innocent" visiting London, his native-Londoner chaperone-cum-guide, and the adventures they fall into. The story relates his travels about London to various pubs and tourist attractions, and the people that lived there. He gives vivid depictions of the lower classes of the day and how they made ends meet – including prostitution, robbery, burglary and other criminal activities. It is a comic story, written in part in prose, and contains many slang expressions used in that time.
Apart from toning and foxing to text block edges, except the upper edge which is deepest black, all is in very good condition. Text is clear on clean pages and the rich marbled covers with their black and gilt decorative border are beautiful, appearing almost new.