The 200-year-old cosmopolitan and architectural allure of Oxford Street

Front of buildings on street.

The Survey of London has published its latest volume, for the first time devoted to a single thoroughfare -- Oxford Street. Survey of London, Oxford Street. Oxford Street in 2018. To the left, the former Lyons Oxford Corner House at Nos 14–24. Composite image. Survey of London, Oxford Street. Chris Redgrave. Historic England Archive. The …

Soho’s lost post-war living room of badly behaved bohemians

The Colony Room in Dean Street W1 was a living-room-sized drinking club for members only, above an Italian restaurant up a long dirty staircase. It was at the heart of a post-war Soho packed with pubs, clubs and restaurants full of people wanting to get off their heads on drink or drugs, debate, argue, and …

Radio: Ian McEwan’s tale of a day in Fitzrovia

BT Tower behind Whitfield Gardens.

Fans of Fitzrovia-immortalised-in-literature may enjoy the drama series currently being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Saturday, Ian McEwan's novel about the day in the life of a neurosurgeon, is abridged in 10 parts by Alison Joseph and is read by Robert Glenister. Set on 15th February 2003 against the backdrop on the Iraq War, McEwan tells a …

Independent authors and books event at Grafton Arms pub

Front of Grafton Arms public house.

Are books on your Christmas gift list? The Grafton Arms pub in Fitzrovia is hosting an afternoon where book lovers can meet five London authors, browse their books and get some original Christmas gifts, all while enjoying a drink. The authors are Stephen Oram, who writes science fiction with social comment set in a near-future …

Charlotte Place features on cover of Rowling crime novel

Cover of book featuring Fitzrovia street.

Oxford had Inspector Morse, Glasgow had DCI Taggart. Now Cormoran Strike, private investigator, is patrolling the mean streets of Fitzrovia. You may not have heard Cormoran Strike’s name before, but you will certainly recognize that of his creator -- JK Rowling. Writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the wizard storyteller has produced three detective novels …

Author praises community library and warns about corporate power

Man sitting at table in library.

Local author Stephen Oram signed copies of his second novel last week at a Camden community library and talked about what inspired him to write. Fluence: ten thousand minutes and counting -- a story set in a dystopian near future -- was launched on Tuesday evening at Primrose Hill Community Library, in conjunction with Primrose Hill Books. Brenda Stones from …

Local author talks about her first novel at Marylebone Library

Part of book cover.

Local author Jennifer Kavanagh will be talking about her first novel and about her work as a literary agent at an event at Marylebone Library this month. Kavanagh, who lives in Langham Street Fitzrovia, will read from her first novel, The Emancipation of B, and talk about moving from her work as a publisher to …

The literary journey out from Fitzroy Square

Front of Georgian building.

A hundred years ago this month The Voyage Out, the first novel by Virginia Woolf, was published. Woolf began writing the book when she was known as Virginia Stephen and while she was living in Fitzroy Square with her brother Adrian. Virginia and Adrian Stephen moved into 29 Fitzroy Square in March 1907. They had hesitated before taking …

A readable public sector how-to for council officers and Whitehall mandarins

Part of book cover.

Book review -- The Public Sector: Managing the Unmanageable, by Alexander Stephenson. Reviewed by Amaan Ali The public sector concerns us all at this very delicate time in British politics. The NHS is poised to be the major election issue in May. Moreover, a still sluggish economy is bringing yet more critics to call public expenditure …

Middlesex surgeon marks 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral

Rodney J Croft pictured at home.

A former surgeon of the Middlesex Hospital has turned historian by publishing a book about the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and has been invited to take part in the official 50th anniversary ceremony in January 2015. Rodney J Croft trained as a surgeon at the Middlesex Hospital which stood in Mortimer Street and holds fond …

Freedom Pass London book launch at Fitzrovia pub

Cover of book.

A new guide book describing walks in and around London is being launched at a Fitzrovia pub this Wednesday (12 November 2014). Freedom Pass London is written by local author and editor of Fitzrovia News Mike Pentelow and illustrated by photographer Peter Arkell. Intended as a companion to The Freedom Pass travel ticket it describes …

Author hopes to challenge readers’ assumptions with near-future fiction

Local author Stephen Oram lives on Cleveland Street and has been a resident of Fitzrovia for over twenty years. Stephen was born and brought up in Kettering Northamptonshire. “It’s a small market town and growing up I felt on the fringe of things and a bit of an outsider," he says. "When punk came along …

Backing Into Light, by Colin Spencer – Review

Reviewed by Sebastian Wayneflete The latest publication by Goodge-Street-based Quartet Books has an unexpected intimate connection to the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre. Backing Into Light is the first volume of the autobiography of Colin Spencer. Many will know Spencer from his many years as a campaigning food columnist for the Guardian or for his much-treasured vegetarian …

Looking at someone else’s photos on Charlotte Street

By Angela Lovely http://youtu.be/XyjqcF1D9Hw There's this guy and he helps this woman for a brief moment on Charlotte Street. Their eyes meet, then she's gone. But somehow he's left with her disposable camera. He develops the film and looks at the pictures... and he sees something. Danny Wallace's new novel introduces Jason Priestly — man …

Cambridge historian and Oxford publisher under scrutiny over claim made in Dickens book

A book about Charles Dickens’ life in Cleveland Street written by a Cambridge historian and published by Oxford University Press (OUP) in February has been criticised after it failed to acknowledge previously published works. In Dickens & the Workhouse Dr Ruth Richardson uncovers new material about Charles Dickens’ life in nineteenth-century London. She discovers that …