Literary Road Map of Islington

  • 25
  • May

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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  • North

Aaronovitch, Ben

(1964-)

Whispers Under Ground (2012). The third Rivers of London novel is set in Tufnell Park. [CT]

Akala

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.

Brellend, Kay

The Street (2011) and other titles. Books set in Campbell Road known locally as Campbell Bunk (now Whadcoat Street).

Browne, Eileen

Handa series (1995-) The author and illustrator lived at 62 Hanley Road from 1976-1994, where she wrote and illustrated Handa’s Surprise.

Blackman, Andrew

1965-

On the Holloway Road (2009). Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the novel is set over one windy night on Holloway Road.

Busby, Sian

1960-2012

A Commonplace Killing (2012). The novel was set around Holloway Road, Seven Sisters Road and Caledonian Road.

Clee, Nicholas

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

Craig, Joe

1981-

Jimmy Coates series (2013). Children’s author lives in Tufnell Park.

Davies, Caitlin

1964-

Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades (2018). Davies lives in Holloway and has written about Holloway Prison.

Dickens, Charles

1812-1870

The Lamplighter (1854). Tom Grig’s new beat was “somewhere near Canonbury Tower … In a quiet part of town, where there were some queer old houses.” Oliver Twist (1837), Pickwick Papers (1836) and other titles. In Oliver Twist (1837), Oliver was introduced to pickpocketing by the Artful Dodger, and Mr Brownlow was pickpocketed by Fagin’s gang in Clerkenwell Green. Dicken’s serialised story in ‘Bentley’s Miscellany’ magazine, written under his pseudonym ‘Boz’, was adapted by the manager of Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Mr R Honner, and performed there in 1838. In Pickwick Papers (1836) Mr Pickwick lives at Goswell Street (now Goswell Road). Bleak House (1853), Our Mutual Friend (1864/5), Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Every-day Life and Every-day People (1836) and other titles. In Bleak House Inspector Bucket first picked up the trail of Honoria, Lady Dedlock “at the Archway Toll over at Highgate”. In his final work, ‘Our Mutual Friend’ Mr & Mrs Boffin’s house is situated by the dust heaps east of Maiden Lane and Reginald Wilfer’s “home was in the Holloway region north of London, and then divided from it by fields and trees”. Dickens describes the May Day revelries and walking around Maiden Lane (now York Way) in 'First of May', one of the short stories in 'Sketches by Boz'.

Dunant, Sarah

(1950-)

Fatlands a Hannah Wolfe mystery (1993). The author lived in Highwood Road.