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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Monday 12 December 2005

Thirty Essential London Novels

In Merlin Coverley's useful, if fairly pedestrian, overview of London Writing (Pocket Essentials), the author gives a nice list of The Thirty Essential London Novels. They are, he suggests:

  • Charles Dickens Bleak House (1853)
  • Richard Jefferies After London (1855)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle A Study in Scarlet (1887)
  • William Morris News from Nowhere (1890)
  • George Gissing New Grub Street (1891)
  • Arthur Machen The Great God Pan (1894)
  • HG Wells The War of the Worlds (1898)
  • Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent (1907)
  • Virginia Woolf Mrs Dalloway (1925)
  • Evelyn Waugh Vile Bodies (1930)
  • Gerald Kersh Night and the City (1938)
  • Patrick Hamilton Hangover Square (1941)
  • Henry Green Caught (1943)
  • Elizabeth Bowen The Heat of the Day (1948)
  • Margery Allingham The Tiger in the Smoke (1952)
  • Sumuel Selvon The Lonely Londoners (1956)
  • JG Ballard The Drowned World (1962)
  • Alexander Baron The Lowlife (1963)
  • Maureen Duffy Capital (1975)
  • Peter Ackroyd Hawskmoor (1985)
  • Iain Sinclair White Chappell Scarlet Tracings (1987)
  • Michael Moorcock Mother London (1988)
  • Martin Amis London Fields (1989)
  • Derek Raymond I Was Dora Suarez (1990)
  • Angela Carter Wise Children (1991)
  • Christopher Petit Robinson (1993)
  • Neil Gaiman Neverwhere (1996)
  • Anthony Frewin London Blues (1997)
  • Nicholas Royle The Director's Cut (2000)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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Omens, after Alexander Pushkin

I rode to meet you: dreams
like living beings swarmed around me
and the moon on my right side
followed me, burning.

I rode back: everything changed.
My soul in love was sad
and the moon on my left side
trailed me without hope.

To such endless impressions
we poets give ourselves absolutely,
making, in silence, omen of mere event,
until the world reflects the deepest needs of the soul.

-- Louise Gluck
Averno (Carcanet Press)

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