To London, With Love- The Writers

By Kuheli Biswas

London has some kind of magic;  A magic that enables writers, poets and as Oscar Wilde said: “beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics” to create masterpieces. 

There has been no other place that inspired and celebrated myriad thoughts and emotions as London does. It is poetry and prose wrapped under fog and clouds, surrounded by anachronistic architecture of red bricks. 

London has been home to word smiths from Puritans to the Romantics, from Blake to Byron, Woolf to Wilde and Shelly to Smith. For years it has inspired people to build fantasies, comedies, tragedies and romances! 

And to guide you through all, Carrie Kania, the owner of a lot of books and Alan Oliver the holder of looms catalogues the years and addresses that writers have stayed in across London.  They bring all the flâneurs, the pensive, the curmudgeons, the lovers and the fighters together within the pages of their new book Writer’s London, through a list of pubs, bookstores and other iconic places from Mayfair to Bloomsbury. 

Roam into the scarlet pages and experience the wistfulness of lost journals and bookstores. Contemplate the lives lost and the stories unwritten, while wandering through the cemeteries of literary geniuses from the comfort of your home. 

We get a glimpse into the lives of the early 20th-century literary powerhouse the Bloomsbury Group in Gordon Square, where the breakers of all the rules and transformers of postmodern literature lived. “They were living in squares painting in circles and loving in triangles,” Dorothy Parker said of the Bloomsbury group. Likewise, get intimately acquainted with notorious writers like Orwell, Fleming, Lawrence and Thomas, who called London home. Get ensnared by the stories of lost loves, broken marriages, forlorn days and dalliances of people, whose words inspired generations.    

Above all, the book endures eons of famous writers and artists such as William Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Samuel Johnson, William Blake, Dylan Thomas, Ian Fleming and J.K. Rowling’s lives. Take a step into the lives of the writers and their experiences that helped them create timeless narratives. Indulge in their scandals, struggles, joys, laughter and passion. 

“I love dis great polluted place, where pop stars come to live their dreams,” Benjamin Zephaniah once said. Come live countless dreams in its pages while it beguiles you with several writer’s love for the city of imaginations and enchants you with historic photographs. 

From the lost drinking dens of writers to cosy book shops across London, Carrie Kania and Alan Oliver have a list for all. Writer’s London is the ultimate guide for the book lover in you. 

Image: Chantel King

Furthermore, experience London, indulge yourself in Soapsmith’s refreshing bodywash and soap line inspired from the bustling boroughs of Camden to the calming tree-lined squares of Bloomsbury.

Experience long summer days and the grassy and herbaceous heat of marshlands with Hackney handmade Soap that combines the natural richness of coconut and shea butter with the thrilling scent of rosemary, bergamot, sandalwood and geranium to enshrine youthful exuberance. Or indulge in the romance of green glades and English blooms with Soapsmith’s Bloomsbury by surrendering to the fragrance of fresh roses, primroses, honeysuckles and peonies. 

Finally, enjoy the colourful past with notes of violets and Lilacs from Whitechapel. Immerse into the headiness of oriental spice, with hearty notes of fresh roses, sandalwood and honeysuckle of Brick Lane. Rejoice in the regal luxury of Marble Arch with vanilla, orange, saffron and patchouli. Sway with the purple breeze of Lavender Hill, bewitched with the fragrance of lavender and jasmine. Come walk through the exotic markets of Camden surrounded with the aromas of coconut, bergamot and white musk. 

For more information please visit: Acc Art Books and Soapsmith Image Chantel King Instagram @chantelkingphoto 

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