Literary Road Map of Islington

  • 19
  • Sep

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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Greenaway, Kate


Under the Window (1879) and other titles. The children’s book writer and illustrator lived at 147 Upper Street and 11 Pemberton Gardens.

Gissing, George


The Nether World (1889), New Grub Street (1891) and other titles. Gissing lived at 5 Hannover Square in 1879 (now 60 Noel Road) and some of his novels were set in Clerkenwell, specifically Clerkenwell Green.

Grossmith, George and Weedon

1847-1912 and 1854-1919

The Diary of a Nobody (1892). The Pooters live at The Laurels, Brickfield Terrace, Holloway, a fictional address which is reputed to be based on Pemberton Gardens.

Harvey, William


London Scenes & London People (1863). Doctor, Journalist and Superintendent of the Islington Reformatory. Died at 48 Lonsdale Square.

Hale, Lionel


These Two (1934). The critic, broadcaster and playwright lived at number 76 Noel Road.

Hamand, Maggie

Writer in residence at Holloway Prison 2000/1.

Hegley, John


Visions of the Bone Idol (1984) and other titles. The poet and musician, grew up in Beversbrook Road.

Heller, Zoe


Notes on a Scandal (2003). The narrator of the book, Barbara Covett, lives in Archway and works at St George’s, a fictional local secondary school.

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.

Higgins, Charlotte


Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain (2013) and other titles. The author, journalist and chief culture writer for the Guardian lives in Islington.

Higson, Charlie


The Enemy series (2009-). Islington features throughout Higson’s post-apocalyptic, young adult horror series.