Walking Literary London

White Owl Mar. 2023. 184p. ISBN 9781399096874. pap. $26.95. TRAV
Browning’s (Norwich in the Great War) latest book disrupts boundaries between past and present, fiction and reality, by creating a pathway for readers to travel beyond the borders of books. He takes them into what remains of authorial haunts, characters’ homes, and the streets, buildings, and landmarks made visceral in texts. This book mentions authors as different as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Blake, Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and George Eliot. Rather than simply exploring sites text by text or with a focus on an author, literary movement, or time period, this is a fabulously nonlinear approach that layers the lives and literary productions of authors onto the landscape. With maps and time allotments for each walk, the book is a practical guide, ready for readers to slip into a carry-on or a backpack for easy access during a visit to London. Yet it also draws readers in for the stories, including summaries, biographical details, and anecdotes from authors’ lives, their characters’ adventures, and the pictures of the featured sites.
VERDICT Meant for travelers and general readers, this book belongs to adventurers of all sorts, whether on the road or in their minds.
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