William Shakespeare: @Wwm_Shakespeare
Southwark's Bard notched up over 1,700 words of his own in his lifetime. He's still using them, and many more, thanks to this Twitter account, which regularly spouts this kind of wisdom:
Truly, thou art damn’d, like an ill-roasted egg, all on one side.— William Shakespeare (@Wwm_Shakespeare) January 2, 2016
Learn one of these every day and people down the pub will soon consider you a genius.
Jeremy Bentham: @PanoptiStream
It's well known that awaiting you in the south cloister of UCL is the auto-icon of ex-philosopher Jeremy Bentham. What you may NOT know is that Jez has a Twitter and Instagram account. At one minute past the hour, a small camera above his head (well, his wax head, the real one's locked up somewhere) takes a snapshot; often all you'll see is a deserted corridor but once in a while there are gems like this:
The view from my box taken at Fri Dec 18 17:01 pic.twitter.com/uVxpyeNXAH— Panopticam Stream (@PanoptiStream) December 18, 2015
There's also a bloke who seems to visit a lot, holding up wise quotes in front of the camera. We salute such practice.
Samuel Johnson: @DrSamuelJohnson
Samuel Pepys has an excellently curmudgeonly Twitter account that's a must-follow for Londoners, but we REALLY love this one, belonging to another bewigged great — Samuel Johnson. Why? This isn't extracts from a diary of old, but rather tweets from the Johnson as he'd write them today. To wit:
Huzzah for #BackToTheFuture Day, where we ruminate 'pon the hovering Sedan-Chairs & mechanis'd BOOTS of the 21st Day of October, 1815— Samuel Johnson (@DrSamuelJohnson) October 21, 2015
Kenneth Williams: @WilliamsDiaries
Though this sourpuss of a comedian died in Camden in 1988, he's tweeting from beyond the grave, courtesy of extracts from his famously bitter diary. Entries such as "Recorded the Hancock show. I was really very bad indeed. It was a lousy script too" are commonplace, and there are oodles of London-centric tirades:
8/12/82 BBC TV Centre for The Paul Daniels Show. It was horrendous... I would never work with this man again— Kenneth Williams (@WilliamsDiaries) December 8, 2015
Life-affirming stuff, basically.
As we've already covered, London also has plenty of dead cats, badgers, moles and dinosaurs tweeting away too.