We've all read a novel or two that's set in London. The creators of the Map of Fictional London have drawn from over 600, including plays and poems. Their new chart pins a literary work to almost every major road, park or river in central London.
It's an idea that has been done before, but is nevertheless absorbing. The classics are all present: Conan Doyle, Dickens, Orwell, Woolf et al. But the delight is in spotting locations from lesser-read stories by the likes of Angela Carter, Christopher Fowler and Thomas Pynchon.
Any well-read person will find a few surprises and curiosities. We were initially puzzled to find After London, Richard Jefferies's remarkable if ploddy post-apocalyptic novel from the 19th century, positioned on City Road, when no specific locations are given in that book. Turns out that there's another novel of the same name by Ciarán West, which we're now going to have to track down.
It's a guide that makes us wish for retirement, so we could work our way through all 600 novels in site-specific cafes. Top mapping.
The Map of Fictional London is available now from The Literary Gift Company, priced £5.99 plus postage.