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The Best Literary Facts about London

What’s the most interesting trivia about writers in London?

We’ve recently been enjoying the wonderful book, Literary London, by Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison. It’s that rare thing: a book that includes something interesting on every page. There are many good books available about London’s literary heritage and its connections with famous authors, but Literary London is the best yet: it’s a raft of great trivia about the capital and the writers who have eaten, drunk, lived, and died there. If you enjoy books about London or books of literary trivia, we recommend getting hold of a copy, pronto.

Below we’ve listed some of our favourite literary facts about London which we learned from Millar and Jordison’s wonderful book. This really is just the tip of the iceberg: you’ll have to get hold of the book to discover the many more treasures it contains. For instance, we haven’t included here any details about real-life spy locations around the capital (haunted by, among others, Ian Fleming and John Le Carré). The chapters of Literary London are short, engagingly written, and very informative – the writers pack a lot of useful information into the book’s 224 pages. They are thematic but also follow a rough chronological progression charting London’s development over the centuries. And it contains such gems as these: Read the rest of this entry

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Five Fascinating Facts about Vampire Fiction

Fun facts about vampires in literature

1. Vampires began to appear in literature in a big way in the early eighteenth century, as a result of a real-life ‘vampire craze’. In the 1720s and 1730s, vampires became a big part of European culture, and even included the digging up of a couple of suspected vampires, Petar Blagojevich and Arnold Paole, in Serbia. Following this, there was a 1748 poem The Vampire by Heinrich August Ossenfelder, as well as the narrative poem Lenore (1773) by Gottfried August Bürger. Read the rest of this entry

Five Fascinating Facts about Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Fun facts about Shakespeare’s play

1. Shakespeare is thought to have based his play The Tempest on a real-life shipwreck. William Strachey’s A True Reportory of the Wracke and Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, an account of his experience during the wreck of the ship Sea Venture on the island of Bermuda, was written in 1609, and many scholars believe that the Bard read this account and used it as inspiration for The Tempest. Read the rest of this entry