Literary Road Map of Islington

Celebrate our borough's long, rich heritage of authors, screenwriters, poets and writers who live or work here

Literary Road Map of Islington celebrates our borough’s long, rich heritage of authors, screenwriters, poets and writers who have lived here, and the literary works which have been inspired by or set here.

Search the list below to see the novels, plays and poems which were written about Islington and the authors, such as Andrea Levy (1956-2019), who were born or lived in the borough, or Charles Dickens (1812-1870, who used various locations around Islington in their novels.

Also, look at our interactive map to see the literary connections to your area of Islington. To do this click on ‘Show Layers’, ‘Recreation & Leisure’ and check the ‘Literary Road Map’ box.


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  • Crime/Thriller

Horowitz, Anthony

1955 -

The House of Silk (2011). Sherlock Holmes escapes from Holloway Prison.

James, M.R.


A Thin Ghost (1919). The short story, Two Doctors, is set in the fictitious ‘Dodds Hall’ in Islington

King, Danny


The Burglar Diaries (2010) The journalist lived in Islington

Lock, Joan


Detective Best Series (2002-), Princess Alice Disaster (2013). Detective Best lives in Barnsbury and ends up on the Princess Alice, a pleasure steamer which sank in 1878 on the River Thames. 650 passengers and crew drowned in the tragedy, some of whom were from Islington.

Lane, Harriet


Her (2014). A novel set in Archway and Highgate.

Machen, Arthur


The Islington Mystery (1928). Machen wrote in his novel that “There is an odd street, not far from the region which was once called Spa Fields, not far from the Pentonville or Islington Fields, where Grimaldi the clown was once accused of inciting the mob to chase an overdriven ox.”

Malakin, Dan


The Regret (2019) The thriller writer lives in Windsor Road.

Paget, Sidney


Illustrator for the Sherlock Homes stories was born at 60 Pentonville Road.

Spark, Muriel


The Symposium (1990). The novel is set around a dinner party in Islington, ending with the murder of the murder of one of the guests.

Sanderson, Lesley


The Woman at 46 Heath Street (2019) and other titles. The author and secondary school librarian lives near King’s Cross. [CT]

Sansom C.J.


Revelation (2008). The book is set, in part, on the site of the dissolved Charterhouse monastery.

Sayers, Dorothy L.


The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1928). Sayer’s fourth Lord Peter Wimsey novel features George Fentiman who lives in Finsbury Park.