Travel Tuesday – Five books set in London
With the London Book Fair ongoing, what better time than to visit a few places in and around London. If you’re in the capital city visiting the Book Fair, there are plenty places to visit outside of the Olympia arena if you get the chance.And for those of you not in London, here are a few suggestions of books to take you there….
You might think you know London but there’s always something new to see and with a book in hand, you can really discover some hidden classics. Or even see the familiar in a a very novel way!
First up….a cultural stop..
This features in the novel The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer and it’s a great way to get a new understanding of the museum and its art. The novel traces the lives of Lee Miller and Man Ray and takes you all the way to Paris and back, but it’s the museum in London which gives a very interesting insight.
The Peter Pan Statue, Kensington Gardens
This features in a few novels but one of the most memorable moments (and my favourites) is when Jimmy meets someone here in Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper. This is such a profound scene that it stayed with me and I admit I’d never visited the statue before. Thanks to this book I discovered exactly where it was and sat on the bench nearby to read the book. Not far from here is Campden Grove where the characters live during the war. There is no Lyons Tea House sadly but the nearby Patisserie Valerie comes a close second!
Travel back in time to when the Deptford Docks was a hub of Blood and Sugar
Laura Robinson has written a historical masterpiece of the life and times of Deptford as it was the hub of shipping and trade at the time. A body is found in the river and all hell breaks loose. This is filled with blood, sweat and grime and time and place is brilliantly evoked. So much so, you’ll have smuts on your face after finishing it. The novel is set largely at the Docks so visit the Cutty Sark – the eponymous ship that used to speed tea from Asia to Victorian Britain is definately worth a visit!
Every one loves a market, don’t they? Camden is a favourite of many. But why not head out to Spitalfields to get right into the heart of industrial London. This is the site of the famous silk market brought to luxurious life in the novel Blackberry and Wild Rose. The author states that Esther is loosely based on the real life figure of Anna Maria Garthwaite, the foremost designer of Spitalfields silks during the mid-eighteenth century.
After the market, head out to the Victoria and Albert museum as many of her prints are on display here.
The setting of the brilliant novel Brothers in Blood by Amer Anwar
An area of London known as Little India so a good place to visit to see the multicultural side of the capital. The blurb says : A Sikh girl on the run. A Muslim ex-con who has to find her. A whole heap of trouble. Imagine taking this book to a cafe here and reading it on location!
“Zaq had been away for five years and though some things had changed, the sights, sounds and smells of Southall were essentially the same. The brightly coloured sari shops and glittering Indian Jewellers were still there in all their spangly glory, even if some of the names had changed.”
Dare you venture into Apple Tree Yard for example?
What about seeing the other side of the famous Baker Street? It’s not just Sherlock Holmes you know!
And what about the alternative side of London? The one many people never see?
There are LOTS of literary surprises all around you…Enjoy your visit to London!