29 April 2010

Langham Street, Fitzrovia: Literary London #3

My posts now are mainly culled from A Literary Guide to London by Ed Glinert (London: Penguin, 2000), which is a mine of information. There's probably too much literary information here in a sense, but of its kind this book is indispensable to anyone who wants to discovery more of London's literary secrets than the blue plaques reveal, and indeed even makes very valuable addenda to them. Any truncated versions I may give of Glinert's literary anecdotes come with a rider: read the book, as this will teach you much more. I only include some of Glinert's landmarks, as there are way too many of them for me personally as I don't live in London, but also because of personal geographical limitations, at times you are bound to hit the rush hour, and there's nothing more boring than looking at a photo with a car or a crowd in the way. A far as I could, I've edited these out of the photos without, I hope, ruining the general impression of the landmark. My next posts come from my brief foray into Fitzrovia, W1, and Bloomsbury, including east Bloomsbury, both WC1. To begin with Fitzrovia, there is a marked difference between this place and Bloomsbury: Bloomsbury tends to be more sedate and quieter, with peaceful squares and parks. Fitzrovia is noisier, more lively, with many pubs (especially to the south around the north-eastern end of Oxford Street), and obviously less relaxed.

25 Langham Street was Doris Lessing's address between 1959 and 1963, and socialist Howard Samuels made it financially possible for her to live here.

40 Langham Street is the site of where Edmund Malone lived from 1779 to 1812. He was a friend of Boswell's and a member of Johnson's Club, and greatly assisted Boswell in his Life.

48 Langham Street, next to the Yorkshire Grey. Ezra Pound moved here after being thrown out of Duchess Street, and mentally wrote The Ballad of Goodly Fere on his way to the British Library, then on Great Russell Street.

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