Literary Road Map of Islington

  • 22
  • Feb

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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Simon, Francesca


Horrid Henry series (1994-). The author lives in Tufnell Park.

Stead, W.T.


The journalist, campaigner and author was imprisoned in Holloway Prison in 1885 for his role in a campaign against child prostitution.

Smith, Joan


Loretta Lawson series (her detective Loretta Lawson lives in Islington).

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.

Thackeray, William Makepeace


Vanity Fair (1848) and other titles. The writer spent his formative years at Charterhouse.

Underhill, Rev. Stanley


Coming Out in the Black Country (2018). The Reverend is currently one of the 41 residents of Charterhouse.

White, Jerry


Campbell Bunk: The Worst Street in North London Between the Wars (2003). Set in Campbell Street (now Whadcoat Street).

Walton, Izaak


The Compleat Angler (1653). Walton retired to Clerkenwell sometime before 1650 and wrote his celebration of the art of fishing there.

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.