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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  • Fiction

Drabble, Dame Margaret


The Garrick Year (1964). In the novel Emma Evans lives near Pentonville Road and walks north from Angel to Islington Green.

Gaiman, Neil


Neverwhere (1996). In the story ‘Islington’ is a fallen angel who lives under London.

Goldsmith, Oliver


The Good-Natur’d Man (1768), She Stoops to Conquer (1771) and other titles. The writer lived in Canonbury Tower from 1762-64.

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.

Grossmith, George and Weedon

1847-1912 and 1854-1919

The Diary of a Nobody (1892). The Pooters live at The Laurels, Brickfield Terrace, Holloway, a fictional address which is reputed to be based on Pemberton Gardens.

Hamand, Maggie

Writer in residence at Holloway Prison 2000/1.

Heller, Zoe


Notes on a Scandal (2003). The narrator of the book, Barbara Covett, lives in Archway and works at St George’s, a fictional local secondary school.

Herron, Mick


Slough House Series (2010-) Jackson Lamb works in Slough House, an “administrative oubliette” for disgraced MI5 operatives situated in Aldersgate Street in the former Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury.

Hornby, Nick


Fever Pitch (1992), High Fidelity (1995), About A Boy (1998) and other titles. Hornby lives in Highbury and sets much of his work around the area.

Hoban, Russell


My Tango with Barbara Strozzi (2007). The protagonist, Phil Ockerman, falls in love with Bertha Strunk at a tango lesson in Clerkenwell.

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.

Jones, Nicolette

The Plimsoll Sensation (2007). Lives in Plimsoll Road.