A Little Literary Tour of London

London is, unsurprisingly, steeped in literary and publishing history. Last week, I had the chance to go on a walking tour around some spots featured in various pieces of literature, or ones that were integral to the city’s legacy of publishing.

I thought I would share what I learnt with you! Before we begin, please put your seatbelt on and do not stick your head out of the windows at any point during the tour. First stop…

…the Free Word Centre, which describes itself as a hub for literature and free expression. Just nearby is 37a Clerkenwell Green, where Lenin published for a time.

IMG_571637a Clerkenwell Green (the red door)

Fun fact: The name ‘Clerkenwell’ comes from Clerks’ Well, where mystery plays were performed in the Middle Ages. The word ‘clerk’ comes from Middle English, and defines a literate person or clergyman. (All this was related on the tour, but can also be found on Wikipedia.)

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Shakespeare & Selfishness

April 23rd 2016 marks the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare (you might have heard of him). I was in sixth grade the first time I read Shakespeare’s work — Romeo and Juliet, to be specific. I still have the first part of the prologue memorised: “Two households both alike in dignity / In fair Verona where we lay our scene…” You know the drill. It was around the same time that I really got into writing. I’d already written my first poem years ago (it was a masterpiece called ‘The Cat on the Mat’), but it was in about sixth grade that English became my favourite subject.

IMG_46641
Almost as good as ‘The Cat on the Mat’

Fast forward to high school. When the time came to start applying for university courses, I already knew what I wanted to study. Since I want to be a published writer, English literature and creative writing seemed a good way to go. It wouldn’t necessarily guarantee me a job as a writer, but if I wanted to succeed at something, I needed to learn how to do it well. But a while back, I started wondering whether I made a selfish choice.

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