Chiswick Timeline - The Writer's Trail

A record of the writers who lived in, or wrote about Chiswick

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The Chiswick Book Festival and have extended the deadline to get your help in finding the best-loved Chiswick writers and books.

The Writers Trail has been compiled by Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival, with Karen Liebreich and Sarah Cruz, the creators of the Chiswick Timeline.

This record of the writers who have lived in – or written about – Chiswick was inspired by The Chiswick Timeline: A History in Art and Maps, the mural situated under the bridges outside Turnham Green tube station. Created with the Chiswick Book Festival, it is organised chronologically, and by genre, and will exist online and in other forms.

Torin Douglas said: “When we started the Chiswick Book Festival ten years ago, we set out to celebrate the writers who lived here, starting with William Thackeray and Vanity Fair. When the Chiswick Timeline was opened in January, celebrating Chiswick’s artists, I thought it would provide a great vehicle to mark its writers too. Then ITV started filming Vanity Fair...

“I’d also followed’s book articles over the years, which build a record of local writers, notably in a 2010 article headed ‘Chiswick In Fiction’ and articles about Harold Pinter, Anthony Burgess and Patrick Hamilton.

A scene from ITV's Vanity Fair by William Thackaray, who has Chiswick links

“Local historians Val Bott, James Wisdom and David Budworth from the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society are a mine of information, as are the books of the late Gillian Clegg. But I’ve also been delighted to discover other authors who spent time in Chiswick, such as Dame Iris Murdoch and JG Ballard, whose daughter Fay has given me fascinating information about his love for Chiswick House & Gardens and a drawing too!

“It was also great to find sources showing that Harold Pinter really did write The Caretaker in Chiswick and that John Osborne submitted Look Back In Anger - and had it optioned for £25 - when living on his Chiswick houseboat.”

All the references can be found on the Writers Trail page of the Chiswick Book Festival website . A Writers Trail map will be available at the Festival, sponsored by Horton & Garton - as a companion piece to the Art Trail map which shows the locations of the artworks on the Chiswick Timeline.

But Torin Douglas says this is just the start. “The Writers Trail only includes novelists, poets and playwrights - and no one who is still with us. On the website, I hope the Chiswick Timeline of Writers & Books will include mentions of living writers and lots of non-fiction authors, including the memoirs of famous local residents and the Journals of Queen Victoria, who often wrote of her visits to Chiswick.”

15 years ago, was already recording the book launches, blue plaques and ‘top literary references’ to Chiswick. is inviting readers to submit their favourite Chiswick writers and books, and is now extending the closing date to Sunday September 9th......

Please let us know which writers, books, scenes and/or quotes you’d like to see in such a list today. (Fiction, plays and poetry only please).

Email your thoughts to and mark the subject box ‘Chiswick Writers’.

There’ll be prizes and the Festival will use the findings to help build its ‘Chiswick Timeline of Writers and Books’

We look forward to receiving them. Here are some previous articles carried on

Blue Plaque Installed On Patrick Hamilton's Childhood Home

Chiswick In Fiction

Janet Ellis Publishes Her First Novel

No Blue Plaque For Anthony Cronin In Chiswick

Woodstock Road Goes Back In Time One Hundred Years

Actress Vicky Michelle To Unveil Plaque to Michael Pleasence


September 1, 2018

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