Literary Road Map of Islington

  • 27
  • Oct

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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Kanga, Firdaus


Trying to Grow (1991) The author and actor wrote his semi-autobiographical work while living in Islington.

Knollys, Hanserd


The Shining of a Flaming-fire in Zion (c1646) and other titles. The separatist minister and author is buried in Bunhill Fields.

Kavanagh, Patrick


Ploughman and Other Poems (1936) and other titles. The Irish poet lived in Milner Square.

Koestler, Arthur


Darkness at Noon (1940). The Hungarian-born Koestler was detained for six weeks in 1940 after arriving in England without papers. His best known work, Darkness at Noon was published in England while he was in Pentonville Prison.

Kippis, Andrew


Biographia Britannica (2nd Edition) (1778-93) The nonconformist minister and biographer is buried in Bunhill Fields.

King, Danny


The Burglar Diaries (2010) The journalist lived in Islington

Lock, Joan


Detective Best Series (2002-), Princess Alice Disaster (2013). Detective Best lives in Barnsbury and ends up on the Princess Alice, a pleasure steamer which sank in 1878 on the River Thames. 650 passengers and crew drowned in the tragedy, some of whom were from Islington.

Lane, Harriet


Her (2014). A novel set in Archway and Highgate.

Lear, Edward


A Book of Nonsense (1846) and other titles. Poet, author and artist who was born and lived in Bowman’s Lodge (now Bowman’s Mews) off Seven Sisters Road.

Lamb, Charles


Essays of Elia (1823) and other titles. The essayist and poet moved to 45 Chapel Street (now Chapel Market) with his father in 1797 and then across the road to number 36 in 1799. Lamb also lived in Colebrooke Cottage in Colebrooke Row (now 64 Duncan Terrace) with his sister Mary from 1823-27.

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.