London has been home to some of the most revered writers in history. Here are five of the most famous writers who have lived and worked in the city:
Charles Dickens: The renowned English author was born in Portsmouth, but moved to London in his early twenties and wrote most of his beloved classics, such as Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol, while living in the city.
George Orwell: The author of Animal Farm and 1984 spent much of his life in London and his novels were often influenced by his life in the city.
Virginia Woolf: The modernist writer and founder of the Bloomsbury Group is perhaps best known for her novel Mrs Dalloway. Woolf moved to the city in 1904 and wrote many of her works while living in London.
J.K. Rowling: The author of the beloved Harry Potter series lived in London while writing the first four novels in the series.
William Shakespeare: The Bard is perhaps the most famous of all London writers. He lived in the city for much of his life and wrote his most famous works, such as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, while living in the city.
That’sBedford Park, the quaintly Bohemian and radically progressive artist’s-colony that fostered Yeats’s Irish poetic genius, channelled his love of Irish landscape, legends and lore into Nobel-Prize gold, sparked his first forays into drama, enlightened his lifelong interest in Eastern religions, nurtured his siblings’ love of the visual arts, hosted his meeting with the woman he would love and lose, facilitated the founding of the Irish Literary Revival, and so much more – eight locations all, incredibly, within a few hundred yards of each other (plus two slightly farther afield).
And at each location – on your smartphone/tablet/iPad – images, history, a short talk and a Bedford-Park-inspired Yeats poem read by 2022 Oscar+BAFTA-nominated Irish actor, Ciarán Hinds.
The young Yeats, in the days he walked the very path that you see in the pic (below) to his school, fared better in maths and science subjects than English and Latin, and dreamt of a ‘unity’ of arts and sciences, nature and spirit, (or ‘psychogeometries’ in Conrad Shawcross’s terms) so we know he’d be delighted by a 21st-century gizmo that time-travels the poetry/arts-lover back to Bedford Park’s Utopian late-19th-century heyday and to the people and places that inspired some of the greatest political poems and love-lyrics of the 20th-century.
(More to watch out for in 2023 so check-out/bookmark our website, where you can donate to support ongoing project costs and our 2023 celebrations, subscribe-to/unsubscribe from newsletter etc, and, of course, follow us on Twitter @YeatsBedfordPk.)
I’m excited to announce this brilliant comedy drama Two, by Jim Cartwright @theatreattabard Chiswick, London in April… and as a friend of Maverick there’s 10% off all seats booked before the end of Feb using the booking code. MAVERICK.
It’s our 30th anniversary year! Phew! And if you’d like us to bring this to your venue – pub, club or theatre – all you need is a room and £100 and we’re there! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Hennegan talks to Irish Poet Cahal Dallat on Literary London on Resonance 104.4fm and BohemianBritain.com about a new, interactive trail following the life and works of London Irish Poet WB Yeats around his boyhood home in Bedford Park, Chiswick, London. They also chat about inspiration and other famous Irish and London artists.
I’ve been double-booked for #press nights tonight. So I shunned the Red Lion #islington in favour of the @riversidestudioslondon who were first with an invitation. Not sure I made the right decision though, looking at this critic!