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

Neustatter, Angela


he Lifestyle Entrepreneur: How to Turn Your Interests into Money (2015). Written with her son Cato Hoeben. Lived in Highbury Place and now in Cross Street.

O’Farrell, Maggie


Instructions for a Heatwave (2013). O’Farrell set her novel in Highbury.

Orton, Joe


Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964), Loot (1965), What the Butler Saw (first performance 1969) and other titles. Orton lived with his partner Kenneth Halliwell at 25 Noel Road from 1959, writing his best known works in the bedsit flat until his death in 1967.

Orwell, George


Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (1945), Nineteen Eighty-four (1949) and other titles. Orwell moved to 27b Canonbury Square in Autumn 1944 with his wife and son after being bombed out of their previous flat in Mortimer Crescent, and lived there until 1947. Parts of his last novel, Nineteen Eighty-four, were written there. The photo shows his son Richard Blair at the unveiling of a heritage plaque at the flat.

Rubin, Gareth

Liberation Square (2019) The author and national newspaper journalist wrote his novel in various cafes on Upper Street.

Rourke, Lee


Regent’s Canal (2002). The book is set on and around the canal.

Ward, Edward


Islington Wells (1691), Walk to Islington (1699). He wrote about “New Tunbridge Wells and Sadler’s Musick House” and was a publican in Red Bull Yard (now Aylesbury Street) in 1712.

Waugh, Evelyn


Decline and Fall (1928) and other titles. Waugh lived at 17a Canonbury Square from 1928-29.

Wollstonecraft, Mary


A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790) and A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) and other titles. The writer, teacher and feminist, opened a school for girls at Newington Green in 1784. [NF]