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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Take a literary tour of London

11th November 2013

Being such an old city, London is home to millions of great stories, and anyone interested in learning more about the great writers that have been inspired by the capital may be interested in visiting its many literary attractions.

A great place to start is at Poet's Corner, which can be found in the South Transept of Westminster Abbey. Originally this burial ground was reserved for those who worked at abbey itself and the Houses of Parliament, although it later became home to the graves of a huge number of England's most famous writers.

This is because Geoffrey Chaucer – who is known throughout the world for writing the Canterbury Tales – also happened to be a clerk at the Palace of Westminster, and was therefore buried here in honour of his day job rather than his literary prowess.

Following Chaucer's death in 1400, however, this section of the cemetery became the unofficial resting place for writers, and now contains the tombs of the likes of Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and many more. There are also memorials to other literary greats at poets corner, despite the fact that they themselves are not buried here. These include Jane Austen, William Blake, TS Eliot, John Keats and a range of others.

Continuing your literary tour of the capital, you'll find a memorial to the great Oscar Wilde just off Trafalgar Square, with the inscription "We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at stars" – a quote from his 1893 play Lady Windermere's Fan, and one which sums up the struggles faced by aspiring writers.

Elsewhere, the Sherlock Holmes Museum can be found at 221b Baker Street – which is where the famous detectives lives in the novels – while Doughty Street in Bloomsbury is home to the Charles Dickens Museum. Close to here, on Euston Road, you'll find the British Library, which contains one of the world's greatest literary collections.


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