London, Bloomsbury Literary Walk, 1.10.05
Posted by Lisa Hill on December 29, 2005
We owe this most interesting and enjoyable walk to a great little book called Walking Literary London, by Roger Tagholm. We followed the first of his suggested routes through Bloomsbury, and saw the centre of British publishing for most of the 20th century in Bedford Square – the offices of Chatto & Windus, Jonathan Cape, the Bodley Head, and Hodder & Stoughton, all lost now to multinationals but wonderful innovative publishers in their day.
In Keppel St, we saw the birthplace of Anthony Trollope, and Senate House (the inspiration for Orwell’s Ministry of Truth), and the former offices of Faber and Faber in Woburn St. The top floor of Carlyle House is where TS Eliot worked – it was bombed during the war, but has been restored.
Outside the house of John Maynard Keynes, we met a man photographing the building because Virginia Woolf had lived there at No 46 Gordon Square. His wife runs the Virginia Woolf society and he was photographing it for a lecture she was to do. That’s what I like about London – you meet such interesting people!
Again we walked along Tavistock St., and remembered the July bombings, ironically set to explode next to Tavistock Gardens, where I took a photo of Tim by the statue of Gandhi, and where there is a memorial to conscientious objectors – who refuse to kill.
After that we took a restorative cup of tea in the Bloomsbury shopping centre, which has a rather down-at-heel feel about it – quite different to Woburn Walk which has been smartened up for tourists like us – and then set off for the Dickens House Museum.