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
  • Poetry

Kavanagh, Patrick


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

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.

Leland, John


History of the Antiquities of this Nation (first published 1715). The chaplain and librarian to King Henry VIII, lived in Charterhouse Square.

MacNiece, Louis


Letters from Iceland (1937) and other titles. The poet lived at 52 Canonbury Park South.

Milton, John


Paradise Lost (1667), Paradise Regained (1671), Samson Agonistes (1671) and other titles. The poet moved to Bunhill Row in 1663 and lived there until his death. [P, SP]

Moodie, Susanna


Spartacus (1822) and other titles. The children’s author and abolition activist lived in Myddleton Square in 1832 before emigrating to Canada. [CYA, NF, P]

North, Maria

Sibling Rhymery (2016). Lives near Highbury Corner.

Oldham, John


Allusion to Martial (1682). Oldham wrote “Tis a long way to where I dwell / At the far end of Clerkenwell / There in a garret next the sky / Up five pair of stairs I lie.” The poet & satirist lived in Clerkenwell.

Okri, Ben


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

Ward, Edward


Islington Wells (1691), Walk to Islington (1699). He wrote about “New Tunbridge Wells and Sadler’s Musick House” and was a publican in Red Bull Yard (now Aylesbury Street) in 1712.

Watts, Isaac


Logick: or, the Right use of Reason in the Enquiry After Truth (1726)

The minister, logician, poet and hymn writer’s work was buried in Bunhill Fields. His work on logic was the standard text on the subject for over 100 years. He published over 600 hymns including many that remain as standard.

Waugh, Evelyn


Decline and Fall (1928) and other titles. Waugh lived at 17a Canonbury Square from 1928-29.