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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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.

Levy, Andrea

1956 -2019

Small Island (2004) and other titles. The author was born and grew up in Twyford House, Elwood Street.

Levy, Marianne

Ellie May series (2012-) The children’s writer lives in Islington.

Maxwell, Kate

Hush (2018). The author, lives in Tufnell Park.

May, Peter

West Ham: Irons in the Soul (2002) and other titles. The writer, journalist and dedicated West Ham fan lives in north Islington.

Machen, Arthur


The Islington Mystery (1928). Machen wrote in his novel that “There is an odd street, not far from the region which was once called Spa Fields, not far from the Pentonville or Islington Fields, where Grimaldi the clown was once accused of inciting the mob to chase an overdriven ox.”

MacDonald, James Hugh


Happy Warriors (2018) and other titles. The playwright lives on the top floor of a converted school at Angel.

MacNiece, Louis


Letters from Iceland (1937) and other titles. The poet lived at 52 Canonbury Park South.

Mant, Malcolm

30 Years Behind Bars: My Life & Times Running the British Pub (2018). Landlord of The Compton Arms in Canonbury for seven years.

Matthias, Sarah


A Berlin Love Song (2019). The young adults’ writer lives near Highbury Fields.