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Susan Alice Fischer

Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York, USA

The Literary London Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Autumn 2013)


<1>The articles and reviews for this issue of the Literary London Journal reflect a wide-ranging interest in the field of literary London studies in terms of both period and genre.

<2>We begin with Peter Howell’s essay on Pimlyco; or Runne Red Cap, ’Tis a mad world at Hogsdon (1609). This ‘medley’ poem is set in Hoxton and, the author suggests, bears a striking resemblance to parts of The Tempest.

<3>John Williams’s reading of Walter Scott’s novel The Fortunes of Nigel (1822), set in seventeenth century London, uncovers characteristics – from alienation to London Gothic – that will also be familiar to readers of more recent London fiction, from Dickens to Sam Selvon. David Ashford’s essay similarly bridges different periods as he explores the relation between Nicholas Hawksmoor’s churches and contemporary pyschogeographical literature. Discussing Hawksmoor and several other novels, David Charnick examines the figure of the female revenant in Peter Ackroyd’s fiction, concluding that the dead are ‘an active force maintaining the human continuum in the face of linear time’.

<4>Martin Dines uncovers the tensions between gay men’s domesticity and a more public sub-culture in novels from the 1950s and 1960s, while Bettina Schötz explores the meaning of community in several of Hanif Kureishi’s short stories set in London and elsewhere. Nora Plesske and Joanna Rostek provide a fascinating look into new writing about the experience of Polish migration to London following the expansion of the EU in 2004 and place it within the context of earlier migration literature by the Windrush generation and by earlier London-based Polish émigré writers, including Joseph Conrad.

<5>Matthew Ingleby’s review article of two works brings much-needed attention to the ‘Silver Fork fiction of the 1820s and 1830s’: Edward Copeland’s The Silver Fork Novel: Fashionable Fiction in the Age of Reform and Cheryl A. Wilson’s Fashioning the Silver Fork Novel. Adam Hansen offers a reading of Robert O. Bucholz and Joseph P. Ward’s London: A Social and Cultural History, 1550-1750, which he considers a valuable and richly illustrated resource for both students and researchers.

<6>Nicolas Tredell reviews Andrew Whitehead and Jerry White’s London Fictions, a collection of essays on well-known and lesser-known narratives from the late 19th century to the present. Adele Lee discusses Anne Witchard’s Lao She in London, about the often-overlooked Chinese author of Mr Ma and Son: Two Chinese in London (Er Ma, 1929), whose novel is set in Limehouse, London’s early Chinatown, and whose relation to Modernism deserves further exploration.

<7>We move to the postwar period as Kenneth M. Flanagan reviews Simon Rycroft’s Swinging City: A Cultural Geography of London 1950-1974which looks at the global impact of this period of London history.

<8>Several reviews of books on postwar and contemporary writers and theory follow. Michael Perfect reviews Laura Colombino’s Spatial Politics in Contemporary London Literature: Writing Architecture and the Body while Clare Chambers assesses Graham MacPhee’s new book on Postwar British Literature and Postcolonial Studies. In two separate reviews, Simon Goulding considers Tony Murray’s London Irish Fictions: Narrative, Diaspora and Identity and Kit Caless and Gary Budden (eds.), Acquired for Development By… A Hackney Anthology. Alex Clelland investigates Cathi Unsworth’s noir novel, Bad Penny Blues, set in London in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

<9>We end with what we hope will be a yearly feature in the Autumn issue as Lisa Robertson offers a round-up of this year’s Literary London Conference, superbly organised by Martin Dines.

<10>Many thanks to all those who provided peer reviews of the articles for this issue: the journal simply could not exist without their contribution. Thanks are also due to Susie Thomas, the Book Reviews Editor, for soliciting such a rich array of reviews, and to Brycchan Carey, in his role as web editor, for making everyone’s work look so good.

To Cite This Article:

Susan Alice Fischer, ‘Editorial’. The Literary London Journal, Volume 10 Number 2 (Autumn 2013). Online at Accessed on 25/4/2016.