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

Johnson, B.S.


Albert Angelo (1964). The author lived in Claremont Square.

James, M.R.


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

Kavanagh, Patrick


Ploughman and Other Poems (1936) and other titles. The Irish poet lived in Milner Square.

Koestler, Arthur


Darkness at Noon (1940). The Hungarian-born Koestler was detained for six weeks in 1940 after arriving in England without papers. His best known work, Darkness at Noon was published in England while he was in Pentonville Prison.

King, Danny


The Burglar Diaries (2010) The journalist lived in Islington

Levy, Andrea

1956 -2019

Small Island (2004) and other titles. The author was born and grew up in Twyford House, Elwood Street.

Maxwell, Kate

Hush (2018). The author, lives in Tufnell Park.

May, Peter

West Ham: Irons in the Soul (2002) and other titles. The writer, journalist and dedicated West Ham fan lives in north Islington.

Malakin, Dan


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

O’Farrell, Maggie


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

O’Neill, J.M.


God is Dead on Balls Pond Road (1967), Duffy is Dead (1987). Former landlord of The Duke of Wellington Pub on Balls Pond Road.

Okri, Ben


The Famished Road (1991) and other titles. The Booker Prize winning author lived at 46 Loraine Road in the mid 1990s.