Literary Road Map of Islington

  • 29
  • Jun

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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  • Central and East

Gissing, George


The Nether World (1889), New Grub Street (1891) and other titles. Gissing lived at 5 Hannover Square in 1879 (now 60 Noel Road) and some of his novels were set in Clerkenwell, specifically Clerkenwell Green.

Hale, Lionel


These Two (1934). The critic, broadcaster and playwright lived at number 76 Noel Road.

Hoeben, Cato


The Lifestyle Entrepreneur: How to Turn Your Interests into Money (2015). Written with his mother and Angela Neustatter. Lived in Highbury Place and now in Cross Street.

Hughes, M.V. (Molly)


A London Family 1871-1900 (1946). The educator and writer grew up in Highbury New Park and mentioned it in her autobiographical work.

Irving, Washington


Rip Van Winkle (1819), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820) and other titles. The essayist, biographer and historian lived in Canonbury Tower in the early 19th Century.

Jozefkowicz, Ewa


Mystery of the Colour Thief (2018). The children’s author lives in Highbury.

Lamb, Charles


Essays of Elia (1823) and other titles. The essayist and poet moved to 45 Chapel Street (now Chapel Market) with his father in 1797 and then across the road to number 36 in 1799. Lamb also lived in Colebrooke Cottage in Colebrooke Row (now 64 Duncan Terrace) with his sister Mary from 1823-27.

MacDonald, James Hugh


Happy Warriors (2018) and other titles. The playwright lives on the top floor of a converted school at Angel.

MacNiece, Louis


Letters from Iceland (1937) and other titles. The poet lived at 52 Canonbury Park South.

Mant, Malcolm

30 Years Behind Bars: My Life & Times Running the British Pub (2018). Landlord of The Compton Arms in Canonbury for seven years.

Matthias, Sarah


A Berlin Love Song (2019). The young adults’ writer lives near Highbury Fields.

Menzies, Gavin


1421 The Year China Discovered the World (2002). The author lives in Canonbury.