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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  • Non-fiction

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.

Jack, Ian


The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain (2009) and other titles. The journalist lived in Islington.

Jackson, Mike

Pride (2017) Jackson, contributor to the book and the movie ‘Pride’ was a squatter at 39 Lloyd Baker Street whilst he was Secretary of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners during the 1984/5 Miners’ Strike.

James, Clive


Falling Towards England (1985) and other titles. Lived in Tufnell Park in “a first floor horror of a room at the high end of Tufnell Park Road” in 1962.

Jones, Nicolette

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

Johnson, Dr Samuel


Gentleman’s Magazine (1731-1922). Dr Johnson worked in a garret in St John’s Gate as translator and editor for the magazine from 1731-40s.

Kanga, Firdaus


Trying to Grow (1991) The author and actor wrote his semi-autobiographical work while living in Islington.

Knollys, Hanserd


The Shining of a Flaming-fire in Zion (c1646) and other titles. The separatist minister and author is buried in Bunhill Fields.

Kippis, Andrew


Biographia Britannica (2nd Edition) (1778-93) The nonconformist minister and biographer is buried in Bunhill Fields.

Lock, Joan


Detective Best Series (2002-), Princess Alice Disaster (2013). Detective Best lives in Barnsbury and ends up on the Princess Alice, a pleasure steamer which sank in 1878 on the River Thames. 650 passengers and crew drowned in the tragedy, some of whom were from Islington.

Lear, Edward


A Book of Nonsense (1846) and other titles. Poet, author and artist who was born and lived in Bowman’s Lodge (now Bowman’s Mews) off Seven Sisters Road.