London has a unique literary history. Whether it’s the deceiving Fagan hustling on Farringdon Road or Harry Potter boarding the train to Hogwarts at King’s Cross, the city is synonymous with literary figures.
To celebrate this history, and to provide a definitive guide to London’s greatest works for tourists and locals alike, In The Book set about mapping a famous novel or poem to the tube station closest to where it was set to create the Literary Tube Map of London. The result is a comprehensive geographical guide to London’s literary history.
From Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year depicting the disease-ridden city of the 17th century, to the mysterious wartime mise-en-scène of The Ministry of Fear as Russell Square, we feel that writing has a unique way of colouring surroundings like nothing else.
For instance, we found it fascinating how certain genres and authors were married with certain parts of the map: Dickens’ London dominates the Central Line, while gothic Victorian works Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray can all be found haunting the Piccadilly Line. Zadie Smith’s works were located on the northwest Jubilee Line while Martin Amis’ novels were more prominent around West London.
Graham Greene lived in London both before World War II and afterwards before he moved to the South of France in the mid-sixties for tax reasons. Unsurprisingly, given his association with the capital, two of his novels were set in London and are featured on this ‘Literary Map’.
A larger scale version of the tube map can be accessed via the link below. Greene is quoted as one of the “most featured authors” on the same page. The Literary Map is also due to be mentioned in the upcoming August edition of our quarterly magazine A Sort of Newsletter and will be displayed at the 2019 Festival in September. Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair is on the map in its rightful place on the Northern Line (Clapham Common) as well as The Ministry of Fear mentioned above. There is a third Greene novel which could have been included as well. Any ideas which one?