Blog

Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
A sort of posh bingo arcade Our Greenwich day out was not quite aimed at returning to my roots. Most of the houses I and my relatives knew have all been knocked down. Instead we head for the Old Royal Naval College, London's former centre of maritime activity, because I have never seen its painted hall and it's where Lord Nelson lay in state. As children we peered through the great iron gates at…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
No longer a place of dirt and danger Today I returned to my birthplace, Greenwich in South-East London. For most off its life is was a cut-off corner of London, awkward to reach at a point where the river broadens and switchbacks to create two traditionally isolated peninsulars, one containing the leafy elegance of maritime Greenwich, the other a jigsaw of 19th century slums and creeks, the Isle…
10 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
There's a hole at the centre of London's artistic history, and it's most noticeable when you walk around the National Gallery. Because just where you think art would be at its richest, at the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, there's bugger all. Of course it all comes down to Henry VIII. The Dissolution of the Monasteries brought the destruction of all Catholic art in its wake, and from the second…
10 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
When I'm coming up with characters, some turn up simply because they're needed at that point. I pull elements from the history of pop culture, a few classical allusions and the traits of friends, but the image of the workmen has always been there in my head. I wanted a Greek chorus to react against the main cast of the Bryant & May novels, and I found it in the Two Daves. Mystery authors can be…
29 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
The London Underground is the oldest in the world, but once it was also bigger in terms of distance than it is now. The district line used to run from Ealing Broadway all the way out to Windsor, but the line was discontinued in 1885 due to lack of passengers. And if the thought of whipping out to the Berkshire countryside to visit the castle by tube is astounding, know this; You could once jump on…
7 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
A decade ago, in 2010, I was asked by the Daily Telegraph to answer a few questions about London. Here's what I told them. I've annotated those answers for the present day. I thought it would be interesting to compare! Why London? A city is made by its people. My friends and family are all Londoners, and although I've lived in other countries I'm always drawn home by this city's febrile energy…
15 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
'I've got my eye on you,' says landlady Irene Handl suspiciously. 'You're always going out.' 'I was out and came in again, I don't call that always going in and out,' replies Hancock indignantly. There has always been a Traditional British suspicion that people who go out a lot are a bit 'fast' and not to be entirely trusted. It probably explains why a surprising number of people enjoyed Lockdown…
21 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Books & London
Image
I have quite a few London books, a couple going back to the middle of the 19th century. Via these volumes you can see the coverage of our fair city reduce from lengthy chapters to key points - the more obscure legends and stories disappear just as the streets themselves vanish, and we are left with bite-sized bits of London lore than have been repeated until they're meaningless. Information has…
29 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
Here the wearing of a mask is not a political act (Today's diatribe was inspired by watching statues toppled in Bristol and on university campuses.) Growing up in Greenwich, South London, I would walk past the statue of General James Wolfe without even noticing it. So many ubiquitous statues of lauded military figures had been erected in the spirit of their time that they were no longer seen and…
37 comments
Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
Image
There are places in London that fail to be noticed because they're protected not just by wealth but by class. You might find yourself in an elegant street filled with architecturally fascinating houses, but the urge to hurry on is encouraged by private security guards or a look about the place that says 'You have no business here.' The Albany (or simply, 'Albany') is rather unusual. You don't find…
22 comments

Years