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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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]

Neal, Daniel


History of the Puritans (Vols. I-IV) (1733-38) The historian is buried in Bunhill Fields.

Parr, Katherine, Queen of England


Prayers and Meditations (1545), The Lamentation of a Sinner (1547). She lived with her husband Sir John Neville, Lord Latimer, in Charterhouse Yard before his death and her subsequent marriage to Henry VIII “because it stands in good air out of the press of the City.” [NF]

Pennant, Thomas


The British Zoology (1762) The Welsh naturalist wrote, what is considered to be, the first illustrated volume describing British native species. Proceeds from the publication was for the benefit of Welsh Orphanage in Clerkenwell (now the Marx Memorial Library).

Pepys, Samuel


The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1664/65). Pepys wrote about “gadding about” Clerkenwell on Lord’s Day, Oct 2 1664 with his son, while his wife was ill at home.

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.

Paine, Thomas


Rights of Man (1791). It is claimed that the political activist began writing Rights of Man while staying at the Angel Inn, late 1790. The work is also said to have been partly written while he stayed at Old Red Lion Public House in St John Street.

Sansom C.J.


Revelation (2008). The book is set, in part, on the site of the dissolved Charterhouse monastery.

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).

Smollett, Tobias


The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771). Win Jenkins sees a performance at Sadler's Wells “where I saw such tumbling and dancing upon ropes and wires, that I was frightened and ready to go into a fit.”

Swinnerton, Frank


George Gissing: a Critical Study (1912) and other titles. The biographer, novelist and essayist lived at 150 Farringdon Road as a boy from 1890-99.