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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  • West

Mill, John Stuart


On Liberty (1859) and other titles. The philosopher, political economist and liberal was born at 13 Rodney Street, off Pentonville Road, and then moved to Newington Green where he lived as a young boy. [NF]

North, Maria

Sibling Rhymery (2016). Lives near Highbury Corner.

Paillou, Peter


The British Zoology (1762) The artist illustrated what is thought to be the first volume describing British native species, written by Thomas Pennant. He lived at 23 Paradise Place, now 533 Liverpool Road.

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.

O’Brien, James “Bronterre”


The Rise, Progress, and Phases of Human Slavery (1885) and other titles. The chartist, writer and activist was living at 20 Hermes Street (which is where the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School is now located in Donegal Street) at the time of his death.

Oudot, Susan


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

Paget, Sidney


Illustrator for the Sherlock Homes stories was born at 60 Pentonville Road.

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.

Rowling, J.K.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003). The Order’s headquarters are at a fictional address in Islington, at 12 Grimmauld Place.

Wilde, Oscar


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

Williams, Kenneth


The actor and writer was born in a house off Caledonian Road, where 13/15 Bingfield Street is now located.

Wingrove, David


Chung Kuo Series (1989–1997) and other titles. The science fiction writer lives in Barnsbury.