Books about, or set in, London?

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Books about, or set in, London?

Ago 2, 2006, 7:46 am

So what are your favourites?

I'm a fan of books with a psychogeographicalflavour - for example Iain Sinclair's Lights out for the Territory : 9 Excursions in the Secret History of London, and London Orbital, or Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

2Wanderlust_Lost Primeira Mensagem
Ago 2, 2006, 9:17 am

I'm a fan of novels set in Victorian London (either ones that are contemporary with Victorian times or historical fiction).

I must say that because you're asking me the day after I watched the DVD (and as it is one of my favourite books) I'd have to say "Tipping the Velvet".


3plasticspam Primeira Mensagem
Ago 2, 2006, 1:16 pm

Well, High Fidelity in N.London........perhaps it could be because of Football team I support.......Or central London in 1867, when J.Fowles' describes in THE FRENCH LIEUTENANTS WOMAN

Ago 2, 2006, 1:16 pm

Well, High Fidelity in N.London........perhaps it could be because of Football team I support.......Or central London in 1867, when J.Fowles' describes in THE FRENCH LIEUTENANTS WOMAN

Ago 2, 2006, 1:24 pm

i meant FEVERPITCH, but high fidelity too.....sorry 4 post other one twice......whoops

Ago 4, 2006, 6:15 pm

Maureen Duffy's Capital (I can't find it in the touchstone list) was Iain Sinclair before Sinclair was. Nicholas Pevsner's series on architecture has a fantastic London volume. Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke trilogy is set in Victorian London is great fun, sort of From Hell for kids. My partner recommends a Neil Gaiman comic called Miracleman where people fly around Centrepoint! The London sections of I, Coriander, set during Cromwell's Protectorate, are fantastic. And Orlando and Mrs. Dalloway are paeans to Virginia Woolf's particular and beautiful experience of London.

Ago 9, 2006, 7:16 am

I like About a Boy by Nick Hornby (Islington/Angel/Camden, North London)
Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue (Central London)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (Parts set in Hampstead & St. John's Wood)
And obviously Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby parts of which are set in Highbury.

Ago 14, 2006, 6:07 am

Ago 16, 2006, 3:06 am

London,the Biography by Peter Ackroyd gives all kinds of info about London from interesting perspectives, Little known museums in and around London, I love this town!

Ago 16, 2006, 3:23 am

Just saw in Timeout Aug16-23 issue a new book out called London Noir, Capital Crime Ficton edited by Cathi Unsworth. 4 out of 6.

Editado: Ago 16, 2006, 4:34 am

I forgot about my reference books on London. My favourites are Capital Punishments on London's prisons during the Victorian era, The Map of London which reprints 18th century London maps with current ones, Dickens' London by Ackroyd which has brilliant photographs, several ancient A-Zs from the 30s upwards and various 'glossy' histories with pictures.

I can't believe I forgot about Mayhew; I read a four-volume illustrated London Labour and the London Poor from a local library over a couple of weeks. Definitely on my wish list. I also have an interest in Joseph Bazalgette, Edwin Chadwick and Dr John Snow - sanitation and health is a fascinating topic. The Guildhall Library in the City is an excellent place for maps, books and other reference materials. I thoroughly recommend anyone visiting gives it a go: they let you trace maps and will provide tracing paper and pencils and also have The Times on microfiche (which I've read in its entirety for the years 1846, 1847 and 1848).

Ago 16, 2006, 6:22 am

Vis The Times. Most of the borough council libraries subscribe to the "Times Digital Archive." This is a searchable facsimile of The Times from 1785-1985. You can search it from home with your library card.

Ago 16, 2006, 11:01 am

I forgot about Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke trilogy - I'd add Conan Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - and all the Holmes stories that followed - to quality Victorian London based fiction. I've always enjoyed reading about Holmes and Watson heading out of town to places which are now very much in town...

Ago 25, 2006, 9:13 am

Ago 25, 2006, 2:25 pm

The Great Stink by Clare Clark - a murder mystery set, largely, in the sewers of Victorian London. It's great on the London aspects but sadly the rest of the book is rather weak. I wouldn't care to recommend it.

Ago 25, 2006, 2:53 pm

Rivercassini : Just finished the great stink and have to agree. It is very good on facts and figures but is spoiled by a poor plot

Ago 25, 2006, 4:32 pm

I recently finished Ian McEwan's Saturday and Peter Ackroyd's The Lambs of London. Saturday was magnificent, despite some issues with the resolution, Lambs was a bit of a disappointment but I understand that he's written some real gems.

Ago 25, 2006, 6:17 pm

Tartalom: I'm so glad it's not just me that thinks that way about The Great Stink. It feels so much as though this is a book I really should have enjoyed - it's got all the right elements, but it just doesn't seem to work.

Ago 25, 2006, 6:44 pm

No Rivercassini, we are not alone!! Arse gravy of the first degree :) Have you tried The Grass Arena by John Healy? A beautiful book about a life on the streets/ parks of north london in the 1960s.

Ago 25, 2006, 7:14 pm

Gracie68: I just read, and enjoyed, Ackroyd's Chatterton.

Ago 25, 2006, 9:44 pm

Thanks, Eurydice. I was hoping for some recommendations. Part of my problem with the book was reading a review that was fraught with spoilers. I was somewhat disappointed when I got to the end and found there wasn't much more to it. My bad, really, and a good reminder of how not to review a book.

The good part was that I've got several recommendations on other Ackroyd works and it really sparked my interest in the Lambs. I am anxiously awaiting delivery of The Devil Kissed Her.

Ago 26, 2006, 1:22 am

I do like Charles Lamb, and have a beautiful copy of their joint Tales from Shakespeare, which I've meant to read. A fascinating pair, really.

Have you read his (Ackroyd's) London: the Biography?

Ago 26, 2006, 8:56 am

Recent favourites are: Saturday by Ian McEwan; Kept: A Victorian Mystery by D.J.Taylor; and The Lambs of London by Peter Acckroyd which I admired very much.

Ago 26, 2006, 9:10 am


I haven't read that, nor any other Ackroyd beyond Lambs, but I think that London: The Biography would be a great companion to Dickens' London: An Imaginitive Vision. Two of his novels, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree and The House of Dr. Dee, have been highly recommended.

I think you'll enjoy Tales from Shakespeare when you get around to it (I would love to own the edition with the Rackham illustrations).

Ago 26, 2006, 11:32 am

Anything to do with Sexton Blake or Sherlock Holmes.

Am not keen on Blake`s trips to far-flung posts of the old empire, though i did enjoy The Case of the Stolen Ransom, set in France. Was OK with him going to Scotland or the Midlands. Was not too unhappy with Holmes going to the Midlands or Dartmoor, though Hound of the Baskervilles is clearly inferior to the other stories.

Ago 26, 2006, 11:32 am

All of Russell Hoban's novels take you into modern London. . . and introduce you to people you might have met. Esta1923

Editado: Ago 27, 2006, 4:33 am

One of my favourites is Iris Murdoch's Under the Net, I remember reading it when I lived on Hammersmith Road, and the action of the novel was just outside my window . . . There's a lot of Wartime London in Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and of course 80's London in The Line of Beauty
I almost forgot, Diary of a Nobody, the funniest introduction to Victorian London middle-class mores

Ago 27, 2006, 8:29 am


You`re not the only who forgot to list Mayhew ! How bad is that !

There`s a great Folio Society edition London Crooks and Characters - brilliant cover design, though could have had better internal illustrations.

Ago 27, 2006, 6:00 pm

Gracie68: It was the fact that this was a copy that reproduced Rackham's illustrations which sold me. :) Though I'd wanted Tales from Shakespeare before.

It was used, and, for me, a Eureka! find. :)

Thanks for the other recommendations.

Has anyone here read Virginia Woolf's The London Scene: Six Essays on London Life? It's newly (re?)printed. I've wanted it very much, and this seems the place to ask.

Ago 27, 2006, 6:30 pm

There was a copy for sale on EBay UK earlier today - sellers user name was hobbygonemad. Auction ending soon though - but no bidders when I looked

Ago 27, 2006, 6:30 pm

There was a copy for sale on EBay UK earlier today - sellers user name was hobbygonemad. Auction ending soon though - but no bidders when I looked

Ago 27, 2006, 10:40 pm

Which book did you mean, nickhoonaloon? The London Scene is only about $11 in a new copy from Amazon - so with shipping from the UK, that one wouldn't come out any better. But I imagine one could benefit a lot on an older copy of the Rackham-illustrated Tales from Shakespeare. Mine was a newish facsimile as well as being used, which helped. I'm a little tired to go look for it; I apologize.

Set 6, 2006, 7:08 am

Rivercassini: "The Great Stink by Clare Clark"

I found a novel with the same, let's say, setting while on holiday in the UK: Sweet Thames by Matthew Kneale. Haven't read it yet. The introduction of sewers and waste-water treatment in London seem an unlikely topic for an interesting novel, but what I saw when scanning the book piqued my interest enough to buy it and pay for postage back home!

34lunchpoem Primeira Mensagem
Set 6, 2006, 9:21 am

Bleak House

To add to that point about Dickens...

Set 20, 2006, 12:58 pm

London, the Biography and The trial of Elizabeth Cree by Peter Ackroyd are both excellent, even though I prefer the first of the two.
I have to agree with Rivercassini and tartalom, The great stink was disappointing.
Other authors whose descriptions of London I like are (not in order of preference): Rebecca West, Virginia Woolf, Arthur Conan Doyle, Anne Perry (I particularly enjoy books that take place in Victorian London) and, of course, the great Charles Dickens!!!!

Editado: Set 23, 2006, 4:34 pm

GirlFromIpanema - I hope you enjoy Sweet Thames. It was a fun read and certainly helped to bring that era of London alive. If you did like it, I would also highly recommend English Passengers also by Matthew Kneale. I think it's a much stronger book as far as writing / plot go. It doesn't fit this London theme (since it's about leaving england - age of exploration / colonialism / etc.), but it's an excellent book.

As for another book with an interesting perspecive on London, I would recommend Small Island by Andrea Levy (sorry - the touchstone seems to only be pulling up a book club discussion guide). It's an interesting study of race and gender relations, colonialism, and WWII England, and follows four main characters (two British and two Jamaican) as they deal with the war itself and the post-war era.

Set 23, 2006, 5:52 pm

Small Island works - odd that it wasn't working before! Great book, albeit a bit flawed. Brick Lane and White Teeth are interesting if you enjoy that, if a bit different. The Buddha of Suburbia is a London novel too, despite the suburban slant.

Out 2, 2006, 2:48 pm

People think Arnold Bennett only set his novels in the Potteries. Wrong. Do try his Riceyman Steps set in 1920s Clerkenwell (well before it was trendy). A little masterpiece.

Out 3, 2006, 2:32 pm

I've just thought of some more: how about Angel Pavement by J B Priestley, Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith and even Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga. Some golden oldies there!

Out 5, 2006, 12:43 pm

Or The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett, believed to be The Savoy Hotel in the Strand by another name; I would check it for other details but it's AWOL.

Out 6, 2006, 6:25 am

I don`t actually live in London (though I did for 9 months whilst working away from home in younger days).

The Priestley recommendation is a good one - I was beginning to think no-one else read him any more.

Anyway has anyone read a book, I think it`s called The Streets of East London by William Fishman ?

Out 6, 2006, 1:44 pm

Yes, nickhoonaloon, on the shelf behind me is that William Fishmans' book with photos by Nicholas Breach. Forgot to mention it. Not London theme (sorry), but did you ever read Good Companions by Priestley?.

Out 6, 2006, 4:01 pm

Yes, but a long, long time ago.

I`ve also read Angel Pavement. There are so many good ones by him. I think he is taken for granted and, as you know now, have just started new LT group for Priestley, so we can discuss him to our heart`s content and let these nice people discuss London some more.

On that subject, Henry Mayhew is always worth a read.

Out 7, 2006, 4:32 pm


Going back to fishman, have you read any of his others ? I think one`s called Radical something-or other, and another`s called 1885. Don`t know if there are any others.

Out 8, 2006, 5:41 am


I think there's East End Jewish Radicals 1875-1914 and a more recent East End 1888. I'll try & get second-hand.

Out 9, 2006, 8:29 am


I forgot to ask - did you enjoy the Fishman book you do have ?

Out 9, 2006, 12:57 pm

Here's an amazing book in the tradition of Mayhew: 'London Shadows : a Glance at the "Homes" of the Thousands' by George Godwin. Published by Routledge in 1854 it is a campaigning book highlighting the terrible living conditions working class Londoners. Beautiful illustrations of such delights as the Fleet Ditch and tenement housing built over cesspools.
Ragged London in 1861 by John Hollingshead is another excellent book in the same tradition. 1860 was a notably cold winter when temperatures stayed sub-zero for a month. Hollingshead's newspaper, The Morning Post, commissioned this investigative report into the living conditions and survival techniques of the working poor. The result was this beautiful, angry book.

Out 11, 2006, 10:59 am


Yes, I did. Probably not quite objective though: having been born in the East End gave it an edge before I turned a page!!

Out 23, 2006, 8:34 am

Birdman by Mo Hayder set in south London and Mark Timlin also with south London settings in his Sharman crime books.

Out 31, 2006, 3:08 pm

Surprised there's been no mention of Martin Amis's London Fields. I'm looking forward to getting my grubby hands on Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map.

51WarlockUK Primeira Mensagem
Nov 14, 2006, 5:58 pm

There's also no mention of Necropolis: London and Its Dead which is a fascinating history of how London has dealt with death and the disposal of the dead over the centuries. Makes for fascinating reading.

Also the Roy Porter book London, a Social History gives a glimpse into the socio-economic aspects of living in London.

52cyril_and_methodius Primeira Mensagem
Fev 7, 2007, 11:18 am

Though totally ignorant about graphic fiction, I can't recommend Alan Moore's original V for Vendetta enough. In which vein, can anyone recommend overlooked books featuring dystopic/utopian Londons? I can think 1984, Brave New World, and for Utopia there's Morris's News from Nowhere... anyone know of anything less well known?

...And while I'm here, a shameless plug: Smoke: a London Peculiar, featuring all sorts of london-related memoirs, histories, investigations, pretty pictures and general londonalia, is available - last I looked - in Foyles, Borders and various other places, and is really not at all bad.

Fev 7, 2007, 12:05 pm

#52: glad you plugged - sounds just up my street. I'll ask daughter to get it for me 'cos 'exiled' to south Yorkshire currently.

Would some of J G Ballard's output fit the bill re dystopian London? Check it out.

Fev 14, 2007, 4:18 am

I have quite a collection of London History books now- Liza Picard's books are really very good- my favourite being "Elizabeth's London"- but there are "Victorian London", and "Dr. Johnson's London", too. I, too, like Roy Porter's Biography and would also recommend "The Dreadful Judgement" by Neil Hanson (on the great fire). Dickens' "Scenes of London Life" is another good one- as are his Boz works. I have so many others but those are the ones that stand out to me!

Fiction-wise, Jacqueline Winspear's "Maisie Dobbs" series is really good- Maisie is a nurse turned psychological detective recently returned from the Great War.

Anne Perry's novels are wonderful, too- Victorian mysteries. I particularly like the Charlotte & Thomas Pitt series but the William Monk series really gets into the dark recesses of London.

I also have to plug a friend's new book! "The Black Tattoo" by Sam Enthoven which is set in London. Brilliant Book! The very first scene is set very close by to where we used to work on Charing Cross Road- I got goosebumps when I read it!

So much good stuff out there on London- it's such a wonderful city! My favourite!

Fev 15, 2007, 5:22 am

#65:Nenner: I have the same tastes as you, so you might want to try the 2007 publsihed book London in the Nineteenth Century by Jerry White. It had excellent reviews so have just received it in the post from Amazon. Let's see.

Fev 15, 2007, 7:39 am

Hazelk, thanks for the suggestion!!

Fev 16, 2007, 6:14 pm

Thanks, hazelk- I'll take a look at it!

Editado: Maio 30, 2007, 10:25 am

Have you seen the The City of London Cook Book by Peter Gladwin? It is full of lovely quirky facts about London food and dining plus great recipes by Peter Gladwin and a slew of celebrities including Gordon Ramsey, Rick Stein, Tony Blair and Ken Livingstone.

Abr 23, 2007, 4:07 pm

Geoff Nicholson's Bleeding London is set in London, where the main character attempst to walk the entire A-Z.

Jun 5, 2007, 9:51 am

I sent my sis a copy of The seven days of Peter Crumb by Johnny Glynn* after reading a review which banged on about its Hackney setting- which is where she lives

*Touchstones not working

Jun 5, 2007, 9:31 pm

Other novels laid in London:

Tracy Chevalier: Burning Bright (about William Blake) and Falling Angels - supposedly Edwardian, but I didn't read it.

Dorothy l. Sayers: Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Whimsey detective story).

Jacqueline Winspear: Maisie Dobbs and Birds of a Feather, both not read by me (but by my wife).

Susan Howatch: The Wonder Worker. Anglican novel, and laid in the city.

Set 24, 2007, 1:52 pm

Just arrived in the post Thames:Sacred River by Peter Ackroyd. When finished it will sit alongside his tremendous London:The Biography.

Set 24, 2007, 1:56 pm

Jack Maggs by Peter Carey, a nice plot, in Victorian London.

Set 24, 2007, 4:36 pm

London in the Age of Chaucer by A. R. Myers
London in Dickens' Day by Jacob Korg
London 1808-1870: The Infernal Wen by Francis Sheppard


Set 24, 2007, 4:36 pm

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Set 24, 2007, 6:41 pm

Hmm, no one has mentioned The Crimson Petal and the White yet?

Here are a few more--some of which move to other locations as well.

Minaret by Leila Abulela
Imposture by Bernard Markovitz
The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman
Lit Life by Kurt Wenzel
City of the Mind by Penelope Lively
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb
Vindication by Frances Sherwood
The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi
Life Mask by Emma Donaghue
The Master by Colm Toibin

And of course, there are all those historical novels that take place primarily in the London court.

Set 25, 2007, 9:04 am

I'm reading Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips, also set in London. It puts a whole new take on Angel Tube Station.

Set 26, 2007, 10:02 pm

#67: I just heard of this book recently - it sounded funny, hopefully it is! Wasn't the Angel Tube Station used in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere also?

Out 9, 2007, 1:03 pm

Britannia Mews by Margery Sharp has a cast whose lives play out against changes wrought in this neighborhood from 1865 to the end of WW2. It is a free-flowing narrative with believable characters whose interactions weave an absorbing story. Esta1923

Out 9, 2007, 2:06 pm

I read Britannia Mews not long ago and really enjoyed it, Esta1923.

Jul 29, 2008, 3:11 am

The Lodger: Shakespeare on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl paints a vivid picture of life in that corner of the city in Jacobean times. I'm racing through it.

Jul 29, 2008, 6:02 pm

71> I'm listening to the same book on audio. Fascinating, but I'm finding a lot of redundancy.

Jul 30, 2008, 2:09 pm

72>Yes, take your point, but perhaps I'm a London/Shakespeare nerd so less critical of a bit of redundancy in that context than I would be in a book about a first dynasty Chinese emperor.

Ago 1, 2008, 5:17 pm

73> Well, English Renaissance Drama is my area of expertise, so perhaps that's why I found a lot of it redundant.

Have you read Nicholls's book on Marlowe? A much more fascinating read, I think.

Ago 5, 2008, 2:40 am

74> Yes, next on my list as a matter of fact and look forward to it. Years ago I read A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess and found that an interesting read.

Ago 5, 2008, 11:32 pm

There is All Hallows' Eve by Charles Williams set in London and written during the WWII period. A supernatural thriller with love and evil intertwined. Williams was one of the Inklings.

Ago 6, 2008, 8:06 am

Out 21, 2008, 10:27 am

74> I did get the Nicholl's book but got rather bogged down with it: in fact, my problem was the one you had with his The Lodger:Shakespeare in Silver Street i.e. redundant information. For the first few chapters I was totally immersed but my interest then tailed off, especially with the detailed careers of erstwhile Cambridge men.

Nov 2, 2008, 9:35 am

A Journal of the Plague Year - fictional account of the 1667 plague in London, but based on actual records that do not exist any more.

The Fields Beneath - a history of the Kentish Town area (where I grew up). Gillian Tindall has a few other London-based books.

Love both books.

Editado: Maio 1, 2009, 8:52 am

Mother London by Michael Moorcock Absolutely brilliant view of London from the blitz through to the present day, via the Notting Hill riots and sundry other events. Lovely book. Also King of the City by Moorcock, though I haven't read that yet.

Am adding half of the books mentioned here to my wishlist!

Maio 1, 2009, 12:11 pm

One that's quite fun is Tim Moore's Do Not Pass Go, which visits all the locations on the London Monopoly board in a light hearted Bill Bryson style.

Some of the best London based fiction currently being produced is by Will Self. He paints the city in a grotesque, almost cartoon-ish way sometimes, but he does capture the flavour of it in, for example "the meaty breath of the Tube". Try How The Dead Live or some of his short stories. He's a taste worth acquiring IMO.

Maio 9, 2009, 9:17 am

I've got London. A history in photograps by Ian Harrison, and I vaguely think it has something to do with The Times (but the book is a thousand miles away right now). Another factual book is the london companion by Jo Swinnerton.

As for fiction, I can think of Star of the sea by Joseph O'Connor (Sinead O'Connor's brother, if someone's interested), which is a story related to the Irish famine, but parts of it are set in the East End of London as well.

Maio 9, 2009, 12:14 pm

Thanks for the recommendations, Grammath. I've made note of both those authors to look for. I read part of Tim Moore's The Grand Tour years ago but had forgotten all about how funny he is.

Maio 9, 2009, 2:00 pm

The Child in Time and Enduring Love, both by Ian McEwan, are set in London

Maio 9, 2009, 2:29 pm

There is Sovay and I, Coriander and The Red Necklace. All of which are very good. Sovay and Red Necklace are set during the french revolution.

Abr 4, 2010, 4:33 am

China Mieville writes what the publisher calls "literary fantasy" – borders toward the gothic/horror sometimes too – but a lot of it is very London-based. I'm in the middle of a collection of short stories, Looking for Jake and other stories.

Abr 4, 2010, 12:40 pm

I'm looking forward to reading Sebastian Faulks's newest, A Week in December. It's not only set in London but much of it is on the Circle Line.

Abr 4, 2010, 1:35 pm

One of my best ever books is "Edward Marsh. . a biography" by Christopher Hassall. Its 703 pages are a beautifully written account not only of a remarkable man, but of London in early 20th century. (A companion book, "Ambrosia and Small Beer" adds 359 pages to its wonderful account of time-gone-by.) *** I am delinquent in not having reviewed these (and Hassall's "Rupert Brooke" but hope that listing them here will prompt someone to.)

Abr 4, 2010, 11:33 pm

I've rather enjoyed reading Richard Tames' London: a cultural history. A nice braod sweep, with many interesting facts and insights.

Abr 26, 2010, 12:38 pm

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman!

Abr 26, 2010, 1:33 pm

Do not have time to look all thru the thread but must mention if I haven't . . . the many novels of Russell Hoban. Most are set in modern London. All are idiosyncratic, but splendid/unusual books.

Abr 26, 2010, 2:29 pm

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Abr 29, 2010, 6:21 am

Foxhunter, I bought the Waterstone's guide when I lived in London nearly ten years ago and it is a fabulous resource for London writing.

Other London books I've enjoyed include:

Asta's Book by Barbara Vine - a wonderful multi-generation mystery novel
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters - partly set in Victorian London
Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd - a murder mystery set in Spitalfields
At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper - a YA novel about the Plague
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson a fascinating book about cholera in London
St. Pancras Station by Simon Bradley about the Gothic Revival bldg that now houses the Eurostar terminal
People of the Abyss, Jack London's study of the 19th century East End
The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys - about Frost Fairs and the like
Peter Whitfield's London: A Life in Maps

I also really loved Rodinsky's Room by Rachel Lichtenstein and Iain Sinclair, about curating a rediscovered room above a synagogue in Whitechapel. This book generated some interesting spin-offs, including a walking tour guide, Rodinsky's Whitechapel, and an A-Z, Dark Lanthorns: Rodinsky's A-Z Walked Over by Iain Sinclair.

Great London cookbooks include Ottonlenghi: The Cookbook and Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton's Soup.

Maio 31, 2010, 6:40 am

Interesting discussion. I have opened a group enirely dedicated to London in Fiction, where these books can be discussed in more detail, and where we could also have more specific discussions (London in Crime Fiction, Victorian London, London in Children Books etc.).

Maio 31, 2010, 12:42 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Ago 6, 2010, 2:53 pm

What about London: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd? Found it at a flea market recently, haven't started reading yet, though. But it's huge and retraces London's history from the 11th century. Saving it for my holidays.

And of course the book that made me fall in love with the city when I was little: A little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Ago 9, 2010, 11:59 am

Adding to dtw42's recommendation of China Miéville, I have just read and loved his King Rat. A truly outstanding book that brings together ancient myth and modern culture in the bowels of a gritty London.

Editado: Ago 16, 2010, 10:39 am

What can I say, I'm a sucker for the classics! I love A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, The String of Pearls, Alice in Wonderland, and I've recently finished the book Alice I Have Been which was awesome and both of them take place in Oxford England. Now I've always dreamed of living in England, but I have a feeling, those stories have had an influence. My mom lived in England before I was born.. Why couldn't she have lived there when I was growing up?! Gosh!

Ago 16, 2010, 6:06 pm


I'll second that. Brilliant book.

Ago 18, 2010, 4:48 am

Just picked up Kraken for a pound in our internal staff booksale. Doubt I'll get round to reading it for quite a while though...

Ago 18, 2010, 6:32 am

I just finished reading Her Fearful Symmetry, set in and around London's Highgate Cemetery. I thought it was a lovely book with a great sense of place.

Set 5, 2010, 3:44 am

I enjoyed Travis Elborough's The Bus We Loved about the once ubiquitous Routemaster. Alas, I did not enjoy Her Fearful Symmetry - I will spare you the comparisons to her first novel - though I did enjoy its representation of Highgate, my former 'hood.

Nov 2, 2010, 7:14 pm

Bethnal Green Library now have a London Writing book group. Enquire in the library for Richard who can sign you up (subject to normal library procedures)

Nov 19, 2010, 11:53 am

Mark Billingham sets his DI Tom Thorne literary thrillers in London. Good writing.

Nov 24, 2010, 11:08 pm

103: wrichard, is that only for people who are library members of specific library? I'm a Hackney card holder but Bethnal Green is just outside and into the next borough iirc.
If he's not been mentioned yet, Lee Jackson's historical crime novels are brilliant. All set in London.

Nov 30, 2010, 9:26 am

Hackney and Bethnal green have interchangeable cards, so I couldn't see any problem. But ring up the library and ask if you're not sure. I think the staff there will give you a card (on usual proofs and rules) if you ask nicely . Hope this helps

Fev 23, 2011, 11:16 am

Lydia, I'm sure Tower Hamlets libraries would issue you a library card.

A lot of We Had It So Good, Linda Grant's new novel, is set in Islington.

And When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson is set in Belsize Park, I think - if not, it's another part of Camden.

Historical crime recommendations - Laura Wilson's DI Stratton series set in central London and Tottenham during and after WWII. Andrew Taylor's Bleeding Heart Square in central London (Bloomsbury I think).

Fev 23, 2011, 11:16 am

Lydia, I'm sure Tower Hamlets libraries would issue you a library card.

A lot of We Had It So Good, Linda Grant's new novel, is set in Islington.

And When We Were Bad by Charlotte Mendelson is set in Belsize Park, I think - if not, it's another part of Camden.

Historical crime recommendations - Laura Wilson's DI Stratton series set in central London and Tottenham during and after WWII. Andrew Taylor's Bleeding Heart Square in central London (Bloomsbury I think).

Fev 23, 2011, 3:02 pm

I think no one has mentioned Theodora FitzGibbon's A Taste of London, a lovely cookbook illustrated with old photographs of London.

Fev 25, 2011, 7:30 am

Hello. I've just joined this group, after noticing it on the Groups page. I've visited London three times in the past four years, and will likely return there in the fall.

I have several books about or set in London that don't seem to have been mentioned here. I've included links to my LT reviews for the ones that I've read (all 4 stars or better).

Medical London: City of Diseases, City of Cures by Richard Barnett: reviewed here, one of my favorite books of medical history, published by the Wellcome Collection

Derelict London by Paul Talling: reviewed here, a collection of photographs about decaying and abandoned buildings throughout the capital

Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne: review

Harare North by Brian Chikwava: review

I'll also read Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire by Iain Sinclair and Real Bloomsbury by Nicholas Murray in the near future.

Fev 25, 2011, 7:37 am

#110 If you enjoyed Medical London I hope your next trip over here includes a visit to the Old Operating Theatre - Enough to keep you in nightmares for a good year or so!

Fev 25, 2011, 8:04 am

#111: Thanks for that link. Yes, I'll definitely go to the Old Operating Theatre; it's included as a stop on Walk One of Medical London, which includes maps for each of the six walks and a guidebook for these walks. There is a web site that accompanies Medical London, which includes a five minute video about the Old Operating Theatre:

Mark Pilkington reveals the history of the Old Operating Theatre

Fev 25, 2011, 8:30 am

I recently re-read an old favourite, London Bridges, and found it even better than I remembered!

Editado: Fev 25, 2011, 11:10 am

112> The Great Plague is one that you might find interesting.

Abr 26, 2011, 1:14 pm

Lots of mentions of Peter Ackroyd, but I haven't seen a mention of his The House of Doctor Dee. His descriptions of London are so detailed that I could follow the character's route on Google Earth.

Editado: Maio 11, 2011, 8:58 am

Couple of ideas from me.

London Blues by Anthony Frewin. A standalone thriller/noir which is very evocative of the 1960s.

The Inspector Troy series of books by John Lawton which starts with Black Out.

Maio 19, 2011, 10:11 am

Here is a list of London-themed books from my library, that I would recommend:
London's sinful secret
Dr. Johnson's London
The Journalist's London
The Changing Metropolis
Victorian London
London in the Thirties
Dore's London edited by Purton
London under London
London the Wicked City
London 1945
Blue Guide Literary Companion: London

Editado: Maio 19, 2011, 11:25 am

A Dance to the Music of Time - Anthony Powell

Many of the 12 novels in the series are set in London.

Editado: Jun 5, 2011, 4:57 pm

There's the recent Early Reviewers book (now out, along with its sequel) Rivers of London (published in the US as Midnight Riot, for some silly reason). The sequel is Moon over Soho. Weird and wonderful urban fantasy - a young British cop, in London, in modern times, discovers a ghost...and then a lot more from that. He deals, as a policeman, with vampires, magical time travel, the gods and goddesses of London's rivers (whence the name of the first book), lots of ghosts. It's an odd mixture of police procedural and magic - and it really works. I got the ER book and have just bought (not yet read) Soho.

Jul 21, 2011, 3:46 pm

Has no-one read The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, a wonderful pastiche of Dickens and Wilkie Collins, set mostly in London? Be warned it comes in at over 1000 pages!

Also Occult London which is a reference book along the lines of Booklover's London.

And the series of books about a paranormal investigator by Mike Carey are set in London.

Jul 21, 2011, 6:44 pm

#120> The Quincunx is one of my favourite books.

Out 9, 2011, 1:47 am

Hear Hear.

Particularly Our Mutual Friend

Ago 4, 2012, 4:06 am

Some nice suggestions in this thread. I've just added Oliver Twist to my books as it's one of my old favourites. Can't beat that one for a taste of Victorian London.

Ago 4, 2012, 12:17 pm

Abe Books currently has an interesting "Literary Tour of London" on their website (some of the best suggestions are actually in the comments.) Among other things, was inspired to find Gerald Kersh's Fowler’s End and P. B. M. Allan’s The Book-Hunter at Home available for $1/Free for the Kindle…

Ago 4, 2012, 5:40 pm

124> Thanks for the great link. I was happy to see Brick Lane, White Teeth, and The Buddha of Suburbia on the list.

I'd definitnely add A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks and A Far Cry from Kensington.

Ago 5, 2012, 8:13 am

>124 bkmbooks: Foyles Bookshop has a similar list:

Ago 7, 2012, 12:08 pm

Here is a link to books tagged as "London". They are arranged in descending order of ownership within LT: .

Ago 7, 2012, 12:50 pm

Here is a link to all the London, England books whose Common Knowledge:Places is shown as London, England. It is a fairly big file with over 4,00 titles shown: .

Ago 7, 2012, 5:05 pm

As #115 said, lots of mentions of Peter Ackroyd, but I don't see one for his fairly recent book London Under, which looks fascinating.

Editado: Set 5, 2012, 4:01 am

Dickens for me too. I was just watching the musical Oliver a couple nights ago and thought I must read Oliver Twist again, it's been a lot of years.

Set 5, 2012, 5:45 am

From the 1960s I remember (OK, I know that means I wasn't really there) this delightful book by Geoffrey Fletcher, The London Nobody Knows.

For more about Geoffrey Fletcher and his books, see the Wiki page here.

Set 5, 2012, 5:52 am

Again from the 60s, I still have somewhere here The Good Loo Guide, subtitled "Where to Go in London" by Jonathan Routh, "conveniently illustrated" by John Glashan.

More at Wiki here.

Set 5, 2012, 10:54 am

I just started NW by Zadie Smith--definitely a London book.

Set 5, 2012, 5:08 pm

I enjoyed Hawksmoor and Chatterton by Peter Ackroyd but have yet to try The Great Fire of London.

Editado: Set 6, 2012, 7:07 am

>132 jbbarret: The Good Loo Guide - an historical document, probably on a par with Book Lovers' London for listing defunct venues. It gets increasingly hard to find public lavatories in the capital. One, near the Aldwych end of Waterloo Bridge has been converted into some sort of night-club, complete with bouncer.

For the ageing male, I commend the unenclosed pissoirs in the lane behind St Martin's in the Field and at Vauxhall Cross in direct sight of the MI5 headquarters: echoes of less complicated times.

ETA - thinking of spies and urinals reminds me that one - a urinal, that is - rises out of the pavement of Cambridge Circus on weekend evenings. (Google 'Urilift' for more on this!)

Editado: Set 23, 2012, 3:53 pm

Recently read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch and immediately went out and bought Moon Over Soho ~ excellent novels that live and breathe London.

Set 25, 2012, 1:47 am

Third one just recently released: Whispers Under Ground.

Out 3, 2012, 4:32 pm

Soft City by. Jonathan Rabin
Literary London by Ed Glinert
Plus see London collection in my library catalogue. Lots of favourites there.

Out 4, 2012, 5:29 am

Quiet London, about everywhere in old London town NOT in the tourist books, and only known by Londoners if they look carefully. Not bad, eh?

Out 4, 2012, 2:14 pm

>139 fictiondreamer: that one jumped on my wishlist just about a month ago. It sounds so perfect.

Editado: Nov 8, 2012, 3:41 pm

What about Colin Wilson? I loved Ritual in the Dark and Adrift in Soho.

Nov 9, 2012, 5:35 am

The Silent Traveller in London by Chiang Yee

A delightful book of essays, poems, drawings and watercolours from the 1930s.

Part 1, London Scene, covers Yee's experiences through the seasons, and in various weather conditions; fog, snow, wind and rain, etc., etc.
Part 1, London Life, includes men, women, children, old age, food and drink, and more.

There's a review at

I've only just noticed that a V&A exhibition of Chiang Yee's work ends today.

Nov 9, 2012, 7:37 am

I saw that exhibition but it was tiny - literally about 8 drawings.

Nov 9, 2012, 7:52 am

Thanks. Now I'm no longer disappointed to have missed it.

Nov 10, 2012, 8:44 am

I am interested in Chiang Yee and trying to gather all his books .... They are not so common as they once were. I think that his works are collectable because of the quality , humour, quirkiness and delicacy of his illustrations. he was a traveller of note in his time. Which is your favourite of his books ? I'd appreciate any info as to acquiring books of his that I do not own,

Nov 15, 2012, 11:52 pm

"Corpse on Clapham Common" by Eric Linklater is one of the most fascinating reads about London in the not-too-distant past.

It's hard to believe only two LT-ers list it. Can see no mention of it anywhere in these threads.

Recomended, get it, read it.

Nov 16, 2012, 1:09 pm

I was so pleased to see this thread on Chiang Yee. When living in the US years ago I found his books at the local library and was enchanted by them. I remember being influenced by his The Silent Traveller in Boston when I visited that city, albeit quite a few years after he wrote about it. The Guardian review was the first indication I'd had that his books might be available over here and I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with a unique voice, so thank you Robin_Baker.

Nov 18, 2012, 6:52 am

>145 Africansky1: I only have his "London" and "Edinburgh", so can't really claim to have a favourite.
As to acquiring books of his that you do not own, have you tried abebooks. There are quite a number of his books there, including just a few that you might not have.

Nov 18, 2012, 2:51 pm

Thank you Robin for this advice ... Just noticed an interesting article too on Chiang Yee on Wikipedia... With info about his family and life in the USA .

Nov 19, 2012, 5:15 am

Thank you- Yes, abebooks will be my first port of call.

Nov 23, 2012, 2:20 am

Shame.............I was going to write a book called "Dodger".

Editado: Mar 12, 2013, 11:08 am

I've just read a fun urban fantasy called Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch which gives a really good sense of the city, from its historical palimpsest to its vibrant, bustling and diverse modernity.

I bought it entirely on the basis of the cover - unfortunately I can't find any images of it which are high-res enough to see the detail, but here's what it looks like:

The black-and-white part is a word-based map of London, in the same style as this one (don't know if it's the same artist):

The book itself is an urban fantasy about the existence of magic in the world around us. A rather hapless young constable gets recruited as an apprentice to DCI Nightingale, the only policeman in the Met with the responsibility of investigating magical crimes. Nightingale teaches Constable Grant a bit of magic but more importantly explains the secret mystical life of the city around him. Together, they have to track down the source of mysterious outbreaks of murderous rage around the city, while brokering a peace deal between Old Man Thames and Mother Thames - the first a Pan-like bucolic figure who controls the upstream, the second a Nigerian woman who runs the river in the City of London herself, along with all her daughters who each represent one of London's underground rivers.

Mar 12, 2013, 12:36 pm

Okay, the book is going on my wish list, and the cover is going on my Pinterest board for Fabulous Book Covers.

Editado: Mar 12, 2013, 1:24 pm

I read it, quite a while ago, through Early Reviewers under its other (US?) name, Midnight Riot. But the cover was boring (mostly white, with big blurbs) and the final cover isn't much better (pretty generic - silhouette and stencil-look). I _love_ this mappy thing - I'd seen the cover, but had no idea about the words! I'll have to look for it.

Oh, and there's a sequel - which I own but haven't read yet - Moon over Soho. Ooh! And two more I didn't know about! That apparently got similar covers. I am _definitely_ going to seek these out.

ETA Looks like it is the same artist - the piece you show is the cover on the latest book, Broken Homes

Mar 12, 2013, 7:34 pm

Yes, I've just looked at the US cover, and it's terrible. This one does a good job of conveying the London-ness of the book. (I had already seen, and liked, the artists' work as someone sent me a postcard by the same person, covering the whole of South London, including the place where I lived at the time).

Mar 13, 2013, 5:13 pm

I am reading Pastworld by Ian Beck, set in a recreated Victorian London, with criminals, vagrants, and circus people, and visited by Gawkers.

Editado: Mar 14, 2013, 5:57 pm

I've read the first three in the Rivers of London series (the third one, Whispers Under Ground, was great); didn't know about the fourth one yet - thanks for the tip, Jennifer!

Editado: Mar 14, 2013, 6:04 pm

Have people read the Laundry series by Charles Stross? Many of them are set in London. It's a series of thrillers set in a version of the modern world where Lovecraftian horrors are in danger of breaking through to our reality. Very well done.

Mar 16, 2013, 12:51 am

I loved My East End, a memoir by Gilda O'Neill. I remember laughing a lot.

Mar 16, 2013, 4:05 am

>159 kac522:. I agree 100%. It had to happen that before long someone would come up with a real book about Real London on this thread. What a fascinating gaze back into the nature of the city and the people who really made it what it is.

Just look at the cover. A genuine unposed photo....such a rare thing these days. What do you see? Three very happy (for the moment, at least) kids, probably returning from a “Jumble Sale” with their swag. Early 1950s ?

But look closer. They are wearing heavy winter coats, so it's cold. Winter....No jeans. It is hard to believe that it is going to be years before the girls in the cover shot will have the benefit of the warm clothing we take for granted today. Amazing to realise that the warm clothing will be conceived, designed, manufactured and marketed outside the UK.

It is hard to imagine that in 1947, one of the coldest winters on record, our parents sent us to walk miles to school with bare legs. The little girl on the left looks wrapped up warmer than the other two. They probably regarded her as “frumpy”.

Mar 16, 2013, 6:40 pm

I read this back in 2000--and it just occurred to me that this is the book that "Call the Midwife" is based upon. Is that right?

Editado: Mar 17, 2013, 5:07 am

>161 kac522:. I had the same thought, but I don't know for sure.

Kac, you actually watch Brit TV...?? No wonder your TBR is so long.. ..:.. ..:.. :o)

Mar 17, 2013, 5:06 am

Apparently not - it's based on Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth.

Editado: Mar 17, 2013, 1:57 pm

>162 Novak: I watch whatever Brit TV our local (Chicago) public broadcasting stations air.

>163 mart1n: Thanks for setting me straight. But look at the review on the main LT page for My East End--I think it's for Call the Midwife, and had me confused.

Mar 17, 2013, 2:40 pm

>161 kac522:-164 It looks like a combining problem. I'll see if I can fix it.

Editado: Out 15, 2013, 3:32 am

Christopher Fowler's Bryant & May mysteries are driven heavily by one detective's encyclopediac knowledge of London history, architecture, folklore, crimes, personalities, topography, etc. This aspect is often more interesting than the mystery itself. The Water Room, for example, was based on London's forgotten rivers, now paved over and diverted into the sewer system. Full Dark House bounces between the Blitz and present day, with London theater as the scene. There are nine books in the series thus far.

Abr 17, 2013, 11:01 am

Oliver Twist and Jack Dawkins are brilliant books for getting a taste of London in Victorian times.

#157, Whispers Underground has been recommended to me before. Sounds interesting.

Abr 18, 2013, 8:55 pm

I have just started reading The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart. It features a Beefeater of the Tower of London and a menagerie coming into being.

Abr 18, 2013, 9:14 pm

It's very Tower of London (though I don't know how accurate it is, even for the physical place), but not so much London itself. Well, some bits about the Tube. Very much focused on characters (who are universally weird), not so much on place (except weird bits in the Tower...especially the ghosts). I've read it (obviously) and didn't think of it in relation to this topic. But yeah, it technically fits...

Abr 21, 2013, 5:14 pm

Did you like it?

Abr 21, 2013, 7:36 pm

Um. I very much dislike that style of book - I was expecting a Durrell (Gerald) book and got a Durrell (Lawrence) type. That said, it was interesting, I liked the end (happy ending...sort of), and I remember it quite well though I think I read it over a year ago. So...sort of?

Maio 9, 2013, 3:19 pm

Just had the pleasure of reading and taking the time to write a review of Building London the Making of a Modern Metropolis by Bruce Marshall. Wonderful collection of photographs - well organized and a delight. To be recommended to revive flagging London spirits and I am sure London in the spring must be glorious.

Maio 22, 2013, 5:49 pm

Very sadly, the only book that is now relevant to London 2013 is “LONDONISTAN” by Melanie Phillips.

Maio 23, 2013, 10:05 am

Londonistan was published in May 2006 -- is it still relevant today?

Maio 23, 2013, 11:18 am


Have you read your newspaper today.?

Maio 23, 2013, 11:29 am

Sorry, I woke up in a fog this morning on Long Island. I went to Google News and saw the two top headlines:

1. Obama speech to outline counter-terrorism policy.
2. London attackers known to British security service.

I guess my question now would be: how would one extend what Melanie Phillips wrote in 2006, or what similar book has been written in the last 18 months that you might recommentd?

Maio 23, 2013, 12:35 pm

Let's be a big optimist.
If you like the tube, then Tunnel Vision is the book for you :)

Ago 26, 2013, 4:07 pm

I can recommend a book I've just finished - it's an urban fantasy/police procedural... and it isn't Rivers of London again! But if you enjoyed that, you'll probably like London Falling by Paul Cornell.

Editado: Ago 27, 2013, 11:26 am

May be an odd recommendation, but if anyone likes psychological thrillers, Nicci French's Frieda Klein series focuses quite a bit on 'physical' London. The heroine does a lot of late-night walking and the author(s) give a lot of historical detail on the various neighborhoods and landmarks.

Blue Monday is the first.

Ago 28, 2013, 7:01 am

Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square is a great evocation of (just) pre-WWII London.

Ago 28, 2013, 1:46 pm

Hmmm. It's not actually a novel (only semi-fictional), and not primarily about London (though there are some scenes and events) - but as an evocation of English life just pre-WWII (overlapping to the beginning of the war), Jan Struther's Mrs. Miniver is great. Also fantastic language and images (if you've seen the movie - forget it, completely unrelated).

Ago 29, 2013, 6:29 am

#180 As is almost everything else Hamilton wrote. The Gorse Trilogy and Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky are almost pefect portrayals of the bleakness of post-war London. Thanks for reminding me anisoara!

Out 22, 2013, 5:13 am

I have just read Madelaine St John's "A Stairway to Heaven", set in maybe Islington in 1990s. She creates her settings very well - roads, house, interiors, are all part of developing events and more importantly, emotions. Great writing by an Australian living in London for her adult years.

Nov 2, 2013, 7:17 pm

The Love Charm of Bombs, by Lara Feigl. Non fiction, covers 5 writers experiences of London in the war years. A fascinating read.

Nov 5, 2013, 3:07 pm


Here are the touchstones for the book you mentioned. LT is supersensitive to spelling and punctuation, unfortunately.

Love-charm of bombs: Restless lives in the second world war by Lara Feigel

Nov 5, 2013, 3:50 pm

#183 - do you perhaps mean A Stairway to Paradise? Sounds great but I'm having trouble finding a copy.

I'm also looking for recommendations on London books featuring immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Please speak up if you know of any.

Nov 5, 2013, 5:00 pm

Thanks vpfluke, I have been wondering why I can't make a touchstone, will pay closer attention next time!

Nov 5, 2013, 9:16 pm

I think some of Peter Dickinson's mysteries have African immigrants...note that he's often writing in a slightly alternate London, so there are some weird elements. I'm trying to remember which one had the house full of people - though those may have been Eastern European...

Bah, can't remember. Check his stuff out - he writes weird mysteries set in London and its suburbs. Some of them _may_ feature sub-Saharan African immigrants, or not - it's only a vague impression. But good books anyway.

Nov 6, 2013, 11:05 am

jj, you may be thinking of The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest? If I remember rightly they were Pacific Islanders.

Nov 6, 2013, 11:40 am

#188, 189 - well, I'll at least give him a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

Editado: Abr 25, 3:47 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Nov 7, 2013, 6:08 am

>186 Nickelini:, 192 I agree; I enjoyed Harare North.

Editado: Nov 11, 2013, 5:16 pm

Since this past July, I've started a personal challenging of reading London decade by decade. Books can be set in the decade or written in it, but London has to figure prominently in the book for me to count it. This is what I've read so far:

2000s: A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby
1980s: Hawksmoor, Peter Ackroyd; What a Carve Up!, Jonathan Coe
1970s: An Experiment in Love, Hilary Mantel
1960s: Offshore, Penelope Fitzgerald
1900s:The Children's Book, AS Byatt; Night & Day, Virginia Woolf
1880s:The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle
1600s: Conceit, Mary Novik

I have books in my TBR that will fill in all those blanks--I just have to find time to read them.

Nov 17, 2013, 4:30 am

What a fun challenge! I hope you'll keep posting here as you fill in the decades.

Nov 17, 2013, 9:46 am

That looks like a great challenge, Nickelini - I hope you'll keep posting the updates.

Noticed two new-ish 'London diaries' out recently, not read but on my wishlist for now...

A London Year by Travis Elborough
Becoming a Londoner by David Plante

Editado: Nov 17, 2013, 9:47 am

Delete - dupe

Nov 29, 2013, 8:09 am

Essa mensagem foi considerada abusiva por vários usuários e não mais será mostrada. (mostrar)
My book "Baker & Son" is set in London's East End pre and during World War 2. It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format and I hope you enjoy it.
D F Skertchly

Nov 29, 2013, 8:15 am

Essa mensagem foi considerada abusiva por vários usuários e não mais será mostrada. (mostrar)
My book "From The East End to Korea via D-Day, A Soldier's Life and Loves" contains much description of life in London prior to World War 2 and the British Army during and after the war. It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format and I hope you enjoy it.
D F Skertchly

Nov 29, 2013, 8:16 am

198> Solicitation is against Library Thing's rules.

Maio 12, 2014, 12:35 pm

Recently read London Falling by Paul Cornell Starts as a conventional police operation but quickly develops/descends into the supernatural. Lots of dashing round London and, being a West Ham United fan myself, I really enjoyed the football and Boleyn Ground connection.

Maio 15, 2014, 4:02 pm

>201 UncleMort: - Hello my fellow Hammer! As a lifelong lover of the boys in Claret & Blue you've immediately intrigued me with London Falling. Can you tell a little more about the book's connection to the Irons?

Jul 3, 2014, 12:27 pm

Sorry, don't often pop in to "Talk" so missed your question.

Telling you more about the connection would involve spoilers. Still, by know you might have read it.

Editado: Ago 3, 2019, 10:47 am

London Fog: The Biography is an awesome and instructive read. The author discusses the role of London fogs in various works of literature. In a similar vein A Mighty Mass of Brick and Smoke: Victorian and Edwardian Representations of London (DQR Studies in Literature ; No. 41) discusses the role of London landmarks and settings in English literature. Both are scholarly works. Slow reads (not because they are tedious, they are great, but they offer much food for thought, so I like to go over paragraphs and sections several times).

Ago 3, 2019, 12:42 pm

>204 lolitaguy:

Sounds interesting!

Jul 14, 2023, 10:43 pm

New here. Pocket bio: Retired humanities teacher, residing in Tlaxcala, Mexico, with two dogs and six indoor cats. Passionate about literature, history, philosophy, classical music and opera, jazz, cinema, and similar subjects. Nostalgic guy. Politically centrist. BA in American Studies from Yale; MAs in English and Education from Boston University. Born in northern New Jersey. Have lived and worked in San Francisco, Chicago, northern Nevada, northeast Wisconsin, South Korea.

I’m currently reading Arthur Ransome’s Bohemia in London (1907), a collection of pieces about the Grub Street sort of literary life at the turn of the 20th Century, taking a more charming and cheerful view than George Gissing’s bleak novel New Grub Street.

Josephine Bell’s The Port of London Murders (1938) has great atmosphere and is really quite gritty for the period, more in keeping with the down-and-out novels of a writer like Patrick Hamilton than with other Golden Age mysteries.