Books about SE1?

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Sunday 19 April 2009 4.14pm
Hi all,

I just moved to SE1 a few weeks ago, and would love to read some books that take place in the area.

I think I've heard that a few Dickens novels take place around here, but not sure which ones. Any others that you know of?

Thanks!
Lina
Sunday 19 April 2009 5.28pm
Fiction or non-fiction?

Of the Dickens novels, the one that comes to mind is Little Dorrit, because William Dorrit is a long-term inmate of the Marshalsea Prison.
Sunday 19 April 2009 5.43pm
Sorry, should have clarified--am looking for fiction.

Will check out Little Dorrit. Don't think I've ever read it!
Sunday 19 April 2009 6.03pm
For a more contemporary spin, you might try Kate Grenville's The Secret River.
Sunday 19 April 2009 6.46pm
From the Wikipedia article on Shad Thames....

Charles Dickens set portions of his novel Oliver Twist in the area of Shad Thames, at a time when it was an area of notorious poverty known as Jacob's Island. In Oliver Twist, he set Bill Sikes's den at the east of Shad Thames in Oliver Twist, in the buildings adjacent to St Saviour's Dock. It is here that Sykes falls from a roof and dies in the mud, probably of St Saviour's Dock itself.

Dickens, gives us a vivid description of what this unsavoury place must have looked like at the time of the novel,

". . . crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem to be too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud and threatening to fall into it - as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations, every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage: all these ornament the banks of Jacob's Island."

Sunday 19 April 2009 7.00pm
Don't forget "Fingersmith" by Sarah Waters - partly set in Lant Street
Sunday 19 April 2009 7.50pm
Or The Necropolis Railway by Andrew Martin. Doesn't quite work as a thriller, but Edwardian Waterloo (in particular, a boarding house in Lower Marsh) and the railway are conjured up very well.
Sunday 19 April 2009 8.35pm
Last Orders by Graham Swift. Have a look at the Book Club postings too or come along to The Britannia!
Sunday 19 April 2009 8.35pm
The Post Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, part of this take place in the Borough area, and I really liked the plot!

Also, you might be interested in joining the Book Club? Some of the books we read there were set in the SE1 area, or close to it. If you are interested, you'll find more details in Socials.
Sunday 19 April 2009 8.42pm
Would be nice to make a more localised (and accurate) version of this:

http://www.getlondonreading.co.uk/Books-in-London

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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