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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  • Screen/playwright

MacDonald, James Hugh


Happy Warriors (2018) and other titles. The playwright lives on the top floor of a converted school at Angel.

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]

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.

Orton, Joe


Entertaining Mr Sloane (1964), Loot (1965), What the Butler Saw (first performance 1969) and other titles. Orton lived with his partner Kenneth Halliwell at 25 Noel Road from 1959, writing his best known works in the bedsit flat until his death in 1967.

Oudot, Susan


Real Women (1995), Coronation Street (2012-). The author and scriptwriter grew up Milner Square and off Caledonian Road.

Pemberton, Victor


Doctor Who, Adventures of Black Beauty and other plays and scripts. The scriptwriter and television producer was born in Islington and wrote for the BBC and ITV.

Shakespeare, William


Henry IV Part 2 (c1600). Falstaff complains how Justice Shallow boasts about ‘the wildness of his youth and the feats he has done about Turnbull Street” (now Turnmill Street).

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.

Wilde, Oscar


Wilde was imprisoned in Holloway Prison, awaiting trial for gross indecency and then in Pentonville Prison after his conviction in 1895.