This is a different approach to London. It’s not your ordinary guidebook. ‘London: city of words’ is designed especially for the literary traveller to find buildings and places associated with poets, writers, and dramatists that have lived and worked in London and to read the stories behind them. The authors have divided the book into London’s 18 districts, making it a practical guide to walking literary London. Indeed, a walk was the inspiration for the book with the city’s historical sites and buildings calling out stories of the history of writing in London to the authors.
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Each district of London is introduced with a summary of the area and is accompanied by a map showing the streets and location of the entries. Some are related to specific authors, others to particular buildings or writings. A number of entries include quotes. Sherlock Holmes fans will want to visit the district of Marylebone, home of the fictional 221B Baker St. It’s also the area where Elizabeth Barret (Browning), H.G. Wells, and Anthony Trollope, among several other literary notables, lived. Topics such as ‘You can’t always get what you want’, ‘Wartime Pepys, peacetime hippie’, and ‘The house at Pooh corner’ (all in Chelsea) make this book an intriguing read. Then there are ‘Bananas’ in west London and ‘All tomorrow’s parties’ in Marylebone, not to mention ‘And so to bed’ and ‘parliament of monsters’ in the city.
An index of people and one of places and a bibliography complete the details.
Author David Caddy is a writer, critic, and editor of a literary magazine. He founded and directed the Wessey Poetry Festival (1995-2001) and now organizes literary events in London. Author Westro Cooper studied at Warwick and London universities. He is a freelance writer and designer and, with David Caddy, specialises in literary travel, tours, and events.
This is a book to buy even if you don’t live in London or other parts of the UK. History enthusiasts, Londonophiles, and literary lovers will want to keep it in a treasured spot, perhaps beside their favourite reading chair. It’s not a sit down and read cover-to-cover book, but one whose entries can be savoured over time and used for your own walks in London.
London City of Words
ISBN: 0-9540802-9-7 and 978-0-9540802-9-7
344 pages; coloured photographs and maps
Available from Amazon or buy from most booksellers retail.