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.


Read more
  • Non-fiction

Aston, Mark


King’s Cross: A Tour in Time (2006). An historical tour of the King’s Cross area in old photographs

Ackerman, Len

In Their Footsteps (2014), And Now They Are Ghosts (2015) and No Place for Angels (2018). He was born in and grew up in Packington Street and has written three books, all set in Islington.

Ackroyd, Peter


Clerkenwell Tales (2003) and other titles. His stories are set in and around Clerkenwell and in The House of Dr Dee (1993), Dr Dee lives at the site of what is the Clerks’ Well (14-16 Farringdon Lane).


Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire (2019). The BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur details his life in Archway and his time at Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park. [

Baird, Nicola

Coconut Wireless (2010) and other titles. The journalist and author of the Islington Faces blog lives in north Islington.

Bowen, James


A Street Cat Named Bob (2012). The story of James and his cat Bob was set around Islington Green and Waterstones.

Betjeman, John


Statue of John Betjeman
Summoned by Bells (1960). Betjeman mentions St Saviour’s Church on Aberdeen Park, which he used to attend. He also lived at 329 Holloway Road. New Bats in Old Belfries (1945), Summoned by Bells (1960) and other titles. Betjeman’s family ran a cabinet makers’ business, G. Betjemann & Sons, at 34–42 Pentonville Road.

Blake, William


Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) and other titles. The poet and artist is buried in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground.

Bunyan, John


The Pilgrims’ Progress (1678) and other titles. The writer, preacher and author is buried in Bunhill Fields Burial Ground.

Burnett, Gilbert Bishop of Salisbury


History of the Reformation of the Church of England (1679). The Bishop lived in Clerkenwell and was described by John Dryden (1631-1700) as “a portly prince and goodly to the sight.”

Clee, Nicholas

Don't sweat the Aubergine (2005). The writer and journalist lives in Plimsoll Road with his wife Nicolette Jones.

Carlyle, Thomas


The Scottish philosopher, satirical writer and essayist, lived in Islington for 10 years before moving to Chelsea in 1834.