This month, celebrate London books and authors by joining Footprints of London as they host literary walks and virtual talks.
If you’re looking for an inspirational autumn, then the Literary Footprints Festival – a kind of walking book club for the curious types out there – might be what you’re looking for.
Small group walks, on a literary theme of course, will be taking to the streets for the whole month. You can hear how writers like Graham Greene and Muriel Spark were inspired by Bloomsbury during the Blitz. Or follow the route taken by Mrs Dalloway on her journey to buy flowers; exploring the context of Virginia Woolf’s classic London novel as you go.
Topical walks around London
And if you’re looking for a topical walk, you can explore the London of plague year 1665, as described by Daniel Defoe in his fictionalised account. Too much? Investigate the London known by Tudor detective Shardlake, made famous in C J Samson’s series of novels. And mysteries of a more fantastic kind can be discovered in a walk based around Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London.
Alternatively, discover Victorian Clerkenwell with readings from George Gissing’s Netherworld. And bring the letters of John Constable to life with a walking tour of Hampstead.
Virtual tours from the comfort of your sofa
If you prefer the comfort of your own living room (and, who doesn’t right now) then there’s a variety of virtual literary tours to enjoy. Find out how the words of Shakespeare still echo around the City of London today. Or learn how Dickens was inspired by the heights of Highgate and Hampstead. And if you can’t make the walking tour, you can explore George Gissing’s Clerkenwell in a virtual manner instead.
Other virtual tours include a wander around Fitzrovia, the inspiration for Conrad’s Secret Agent; Tudor London, the setting for Wolf Hall; and the literature of Covent Garden with Jane Austen, Henry Fielding and Samuel Pepys.
Why not follow Charles Dickens on his night walks, take a look at the world of spy fiction, explore Clerkenwell’s literary connections, or hear stories of Angry Young Men, Vampires and Utopia in Chelsea?
And finally, don’t miss the bawdy world of Shakespeare’s Bankside and Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous East End.
Check out more quirky walks and tours here.
When: 1st – 31st October 2020
Where: Across London and online
£: Walks cost £12 or £9 for concessions. Virtual talks cost £5
More info: footprintsoflondon.com