The twentieth century and urban life in literature

The books in this list are not about Palmers Green, and some of them arent about London, but are listed because of the way in which they depict history and society, from the Edwardian period to the present day

Turn of the century

The diary of a nobody George and Weedon Grossmith. a humorous account of respectable life and manners in Upper Holloway, first published in Punch in 1888.

Ullysses James Joyce a single day in the life of Leopold and Molly Bloom in Dublin in 1904

First world war and beyond

Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf Another single day in the life story. Clarissa Dalloway prepares for a party in the years after the first world war. 


Angel Pavement J B Priestley (1930) A panoramic view of London as seen by the employees of Twigg and Dersingham


Hangover square Patrick Hamilton (1941) set in the first days of the second world war, George Harvey Bone tries in vain to gain the affections of failed actress Netta in the boozers of Earls Court


The Long Firm Jake Arnott. The story of the complex life of night club owner Harry Starks as seen through the eyes of four characters, including a Tory Lord and academic


The buddha of suburbia Hanif Kureishi (1990) an Anglo English teenager grows up in 1970s suburbia

Rotten John Lydon the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten grows up in Finsbury Park

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