• Mayfair – Ian Fleming’s playground
    Mayfair – Ian Fleming’s playground
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      Mayfair was Ian Fleming’s playground. He was born here in 1908 in a house strangely unmarked by a blue plaque.  And it was here where he drank and gambled in his clubs. His father was an MP who was killed in the First World War, his grandfather was Robert Fleming the banker who gave…

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  • Bleeding London – Hanging Sword Alley
    Bleeding London – Hanging Sword Alley
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    To celebrate our Literary Footprints finale on Friday 31st October, the Footprints of London Guides have chosen their favourite London streets. Here’s what Neil Sinclair says about Hanging Sword Alley   If you feel any sense of foreboding or trepidation walking along Hanging Sword Alley, the passageway between Whitefriars Street and Salisbury Court off Fleet…

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  • Walking the A-Z
    Walking the A-Z
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    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk every street in the London A-Z? – A feat none of us Footprint guides has yet accomplished! In Geoff Nicholson’s 1997 Whitbread shortlisted novel Bleeding London that’s what jaded tour guide Stuart London sets out to do, crossing them out in the A-Z as…

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  • Literary London – Chaucer and the Cheesegrater
    Literary London – Chaucer and the Cheesegrater
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    Tina Baxter finds some amazing connections between Chaucer and the modern City 25th October 2014 – Anniversary of Geoffrey Chaucer’s death Geoffrey Chaucer died on 25th October 1400 and was buried in Westminster Cathedral in a place now known as ‘Poet’s Corner’, he was the first great literary hero to be enshrined on that spot….

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  • Literary London – D Arblay Street
    Literary London – D Arblay Street
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    Alan Fortune poses some questions answered in his Literary Soho walk   Which literary figure is this street in Soho named after? She was to have a great influence on Jane Austen. What connection does the New Loon Moon Supermarket have with Britain’s literary heritage? Which writer of both detective stories and theological books has…

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  • Literary London – Shepherd Market
    Literary London – Shepherd Market
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    Jen Pedler talks about Shepherd Market   Today Shepherd Market, just off Piccadilly, is a hidden oasis of pubs, restaurants and up-market shops. In the 1920s it was far less salubrious; a haunt of prostitutes and also home to writers such as Michael Arlen and Anthony Powell who both encapsulated the world of 1920s Mayfair…

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  • Literary London – The enigmatic 221b
    Literary London – The enigmatic 221b
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    Jen Pedler asks where exactly is one of London’s most famous addresses The enigmatic 221b 221b Baker Street must be one of the most famous addresses in the world. It is, of course, fictional but that hasn’t prevented generations of Sherlock Holmes fans from trying to track it down. The blue plaque on the wall…

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  • Oliver Twist – Far from a children’s story
    Oliver Twist – Far from a children’s story
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    Hazel Baker explains why Oliver Twist is very far from being a children’s story Many of Dickens’ contemporary critics and reading public feared that novels could be too realistic, and that naïve readers (often female readers) wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between fiction and reality. Especially for a novel like Oliver Twist, which…

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  • Literary London – Why Virginia Woolf Dressed up as a man in 1910
    Literary London – Why Virginia Woolf Dressed up as a man in 1910
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    We have four different walks and a talk featuring Virginia Woolf in the Footprints Literary festival in October, so plenty of opportunity to hear about her life and works. But perhaps one of the oddest stories associated with Virginia Woolf relates to her part in a 1910 hoax perpetrated on the Royal Navy in February…

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  • The Great Fire of Westminster
    The Great Fire of Westminster
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    Footprints of London Guides Richard Watkins and Steve Pratt talk about their forthcoming new walk about The Great Fire of Westminster One of the paintings featured in the Tate Britain’s current exhibition, “Late Turner: Painting Set Free ”, is The Burning of the House of Lords and Commons 16 October 1834, amongst others on the…

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