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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Mearns, Andrew


The Bitter Cry of Outcast London: An Inquiry into the Condition of the Abject Poor (1883). The account was written while the minister was living in Clerkenwell.

Menzies, Gavin


1421 The Year China Discovered the World (2002). The author lives in Canonbury.

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]

Milton, John


Paradise Lost (1667), Paradise Regained (1671), Samson Agonistes (1671) and other titles. The poet moved to Bunhill Row in 1663 and lived there until his death. [P, SP]

Moodie, Susanna


Spartacus (1822) and other titles. The children’s author and abolition activist lived in Myddleton Square in 1832 before emigrating to Canada. [CYA, NF, P]

Muchamore, Robert


CHERUB series (2004-). The author was born in Tufnell Park.

North, Maria

Sibling Rhymery (2016). Lives near Highbury Corner.

Quarmby, Katherine

Fussy Freya (2008) and other titles. The children's writer and journalist lives in north Islington.

Parr, Katherine, Queen of England


Prayers and Meditations (1545), The Lamentation of a Sinner (1547). She lived with her husband Sir John Neville, Lord Latimer, in Charterhouse Yard before his death and her subsequent marriage to Henry VIII “because it stands in good air out of the press of the City.” [NF]

Pepys, Samuel


The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1664/65). Pepys wrote about “gadding about” Clerkenwell on Lord’s Day, Oct 2 1664 with his son, while his wife was ill at home.

Oldham, John


Allusion to Martial (1682). Oldham wrote “Tis a long way to where I dwell / At the far end of Clerkenwell / There in a garret next the sky / Up five pair of stairs I lie.” The poet & satirist lived in Clerkenwell.

O’Farrell, Maggie


Instructions for a Heatwave (2013). O’Farrell set her novel in Highbury.