Literary Kensington: A Blue Plaques Walk
Use our free app to discover the literary history of Kensington on a walk from High Street Kensington to Holland Park Station. Among the boutique shops and leafy parks you’ll find the blue plaques to some of the world’s most famous and influential writers. From James Joyce and TS Eliot to Agatha Christie and Siegfried Sassoon, a surprising range of literary stars once called this secluded corner of London their home. Scroll down to find out more about their London lives and careers.
Download the free app
To access the walking tour, download the free app for iPhone or android. Using Google maps and your smartphone’s GPS, the four kilometre walk will take you past the former homes of eleven literary stars. See below for the full list of plaques and links to more information about each individual and their home.
You can also use the app to find your nearest blue plaques wherever you are in London, or to search for your favourite figures from the capital’s history.
WM Thackeray (Young Street)
This is the first of the two Kensington houses that Thackeray formerly lived in. It was here he wrote his masterpiece, Vanity Fair.
TS Eliot moved to Kensington in1957, following in the footsteps of two of his biggest literary influences – Ezra Pound and James Joyce.
US novelist Henry James lived at 34 De Vere Gardens for 10 years, and aimed to be ‘as bourgeoise as my means will permit’.
WM Thackeray (Palace Green)
Thackeray called this, his last house, his ‘principal pleasure’.
Joyce didn't stay in Kensington for long but did find time to marry his long-term partner, Nora, while here.
Pound was an influential figure in literary London, and his visitors here included Ford Madox Ford and DH Lawrence.
Children’s book illustrator Crane enjoyed a bohemian lifestyle at his Kensington home.
Hall was living at 37 Holland Street with her partner Una, Lady Troubridge when her novel The Well of Loneliness scandalised London society.
Ford Madox Ford
Ford was working on his acclaimed novel The Good Soldier while living with Violet Hunt at 80 Campden Hill Road as her ‘paying guest’.
The Queen of Crime wrote Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile while living at 58 Sheffield Terrace.
Morgan enjoyed great success with his novels Sparkenbroke and The Voyage, which were written at 16 Campden Hill Square.
Number 23 Campden Hill Square was Sassoon’s last London home, living here from 1925 until 1932.