Harry Mount

Roundly Acknowledged

Lived in London: Blue Plaques and the Stories Behind Them


Yale University Press 637pp £40 order from our bookshop

Whenever I bicycle south from my Kentish Town flat into the middle of London, I go past George Orwell's handsome old Victorian house – 50 Lawford Road, where he lived in the mid-Thirties. Until I read this glorious, beautifully produced book, I always thought of Orwell as a kindred spirit for choosing to live in my unfashionable patch of the city.

Only now Emily Cole tells me that the house inspired Willowbed Road in Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936) – a street that ‘contrived to keep up a kind of mingy, lower middle-class decency’. Cole

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