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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  • South

Herron, Mick


Slough House Series (2010-) Jackson Lamb works in Slough House, an “administrative oubliette” for disgraced MI5 operatives situated in Aldersgate Street in the former Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury.

Heywood, Thomas


A Woman Killed with Kindness (c.1603). Heywood was the resident playwright at the Red Bull Theatre, which was based in what is now Haywood’s Place. He was living in Clerkenwell at the time of his death.

Hoban, Russell


My Tango with Barbara Strozzi (2007). The protagonist, Phil Ockerman, falls in love with Bertha Strunk at a tango lesson in Clerkenwell.

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.

Johnson, B.S.


Albert Angelo (1964). The author lived in Claremont Square.

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.

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.

Lenin, Vladimir


Iskra (The Spark) (1902-03) and other titles. Lenin lived in both 30 Holford Square and later in 16 Percy Circus (1902-03). He edited the political newspaper Iskra from a socialist publishing house in Clerkenwell Green, based on the site of what is now the Marx Memorial Library.

Leland, John


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

Machen, Arthur


The Islington Mystery (1928). Machen wrote in his novel that “There is an odd street, not far from the region which was once called Spa Fields, not far from the Pentonville or Islington Fields, where Grimaldi the clown was once accused of inciting the mob to chase an overdriven ox.”

Mearns, Andrew


The Bitter Cry of Outcast London: An Inquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor (1883). The account was written while the minister was living in Clerkenwell.