Highgate Officially World's Coolest Cemetery

By Rob Last edited 162 months ago
Highgate Officially World's Coolest Cemetery

Let's face it, The Time Traveller's Wife is a bit of 'a tube book'. It's been pretty much unavoidable since it came out and Londonist lost count of the number of times people have pleaded with us to read it.

Which doesn't mean it's a bad book, or that we won't actually get round to reading it someday...it's just going to have to wait until we finish Peter Ackroyd's latest tome.

Anyway, the reason we're going on about this is because the author of The Time Traveller's Wife (and winner of the Daftest Literary Name of the Year award 2004), Audrey Niffenegger, has apparently been putting in some hours at Highgate cemetery.

According to the Hampstead & Highgate Express the "top US novelist is travelling thousands of miles to volunteer to work a graveyard shift [geddit?] at Highgate Cemetery."

According to the paper Niffenegger "first fell in love with the Victorian cemetery when she visited it in 1996," but her research for her latest novel has brought the writer all the way from Chicago to moonlight as a guide:

"When I started thinking about this novel I knew I wanted the characters to live next to a cemetery. I thought well what is the coolest cemetery? And of course that was Highgate.

As I got more involved I realised it would be really cool if one of the main characters was a guide. So I started to research that and Jean Pateman [who runs the Friends of Highgate Cemetery] said to me 'Why don't you become a guide?'

It has been really great. It is just fun and entertaining, and I'm the character who is the guide, whose name is Robert."

That's nice that she has such a love for the place isn't it? Pity then that the Hampstead & Highgate Express couldn't get the name of her book right: A Time Traveller's Wife? Is there more than one now?

Last Updated 16 September 2005