Soul City Wandering – A London Pilgrimage

AMAZON TRAVEL BOOKS TOP-TEN BESTSELLER – 5-STAR RATED 2020 sees the release of Frank Molloy‘s Soul City Wandering, a book that encourages readers to rediscover their urban surroundings. Published by Choir Press priced at £9.99. It is available to order from the following online bookstores: Amazon Waterstones Book Depository “A great book… a great guide.Continue reading “Soul City Wandering – A London Pilgrimage”

London People: The Rise & Fall of Thomas Carlyle

200 years ago, a 25-year-old Scottish school teacher wrote a letter predicting his future rise to prominence as a famous philosopher. Indeed, he also went onto become a noted writer, mathematician and historian. What he did not predict, however, was his fall from grace. Soul City Wanderer briefs on Thomas Carlyle. Thomas Carlyle was bornContinue reading “London People: The Rise & Fall of Thomas Carlyle”

London People: The Bard is Back!

Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon is to re-open tomorrow, August 1.Soul City Wanderer took advantage of lockdown to catch up on his books on the bard.He recommends two fairly recent bestsellers, both by authors from across the Atlantic. James Shapiro Contested Will (Faber & Faber, 2010) Even though I’ve had this one on my shelf forContinue reading “London People: The Bard is Back!”

UK Places: Bristol & Brunel

The south-west city of Bristol recently made news headlines with the controversy around its past links to slavery. But the story highlighted how the port’s trading past is inextricably linked with its growth and development, and in particular with the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 50 years ago this month, his famous ship, the SSContinue reading “UK Places: Bristol & Brunel”

London People: 100 Years Ago: ‘King of Chefs’ Auguste Escoffier Retires

The great French chef Auguste Escoffier retired 100 years ago this month from the Carlton Hotel in the Haymarket. He was the radical revolutionary cook who shook up the whole restaurant business and dragged it into the modern era. Along the way, he formed an unlikely friendship with a sharp London girl, who was noContinue reading “London People: 100 Years Ago: ‘King of Chefs’ Auguste Escoffier Retires”

London People: Sherlock’s Psychogeographic Adventure

Following on from last week’s Sherlock Holmes series on this blog, Soul City Wanderer speculates on whether Arthur Conan Doyle had endowed his fictional detective with a natural sense of psychogeography. Relying on a specific sense can be part of the psychogeographic experience. The writer Will Self, who taught a psychogeography module at Brunel University,Continue reading “London People: Sherlock’s Psychogeographic Adventure”

London People: Sherlock’s Grand Day Out – An Elementary London Tour

Sherlock’s Grand Day Out is a self-guided tour of the famous fictional detective’s London haunts. But how can we claim it to be the most ‘elementary’ of Sherlock tours? Well, first of all, not only is the Soul City Wanderer an old Holmes aficionado, he is also a top qualified London tour guide. Secondly, whileContinue reading “London People: Sherlock’s Grand Day Out – An Elementary London Tour”

London People: ‘Sherlock’s’ Homes

Tomorrow, for Sherlock Holmes fans everywhere, Soul City Wanderer will present Sherlock’s Grand London Day Out, a definitive tour of the detective’s haunts. As a prelude, here is a short essay on the residencies of the Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Scotland on May 22nd, 1859 toContinue reading “London People: ‘Sherlock’s’ Homes”

London People: 1920: Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Annus Horribilis’

One hundred years ago, the reputation of the legendary creator of Sherlock Holmes began to take a tumble. The Soul City Wanderer investigates. Perhaps it was inevitable. There had always been an alternate side to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which would led him towards controversy in his later life. After he became an established detectiveContinue reading “London People: 1920: Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Annus Horribilis’”

London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 2)

The second part of the Soul City Wanderer’s response to detective fiction writer Anthony Horowitz’s claim that Sherlock Holmes had “no interest in music”. The Adventure of the Cardboard Box: Paganini. While investigating the case of the Cardboard Box, Holmes and Watson are having lunch somewhere near Croydon, as you do. Holmes is once againContinue reading “London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 2)”

London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 1)

Last week, Soul City Wanderer watched a programme on the Sky Arts channel entitled Sherlock Holmes vs Arthur Conan Doyle. It was about the author’s strained relationship with his own literary creation. One of the contributors was Anthony Horowitz, an English writer who specialises in the detective mystery genre. In 2011, Horowitz was officially endorsedContinue reading “London People: Sherlock Holmes’ Musical London (Part 1)”

London People: Thomas Cromwell – Back in the Game

Historical Londoner Thomas Cromwell seems in vogue at the moment, not least since the release of Hilary Mantel’s final novel in her Wolf Hall trilogy, ‘The Mirror and the Light’ (Fourth Estate 2020). For a balanced biography of a Londoner whose political shenanigans still ring down the ages, Soul City Wanderer recommends Thomas Cromwell: TheContinue reading “London People: Thomas Cromwell – Back in the Game”

London People: Samuel Pepys – Forced Entry

During the early lockdown, social media was awash with a quote from the mid-17th century commentator Samuel Pepys. It was purportedly from a diary entry he made during the Great Plague of London, the bubonic pestilence which broke out in the capital in 1665. The shared quote read: On hearing ill rumour that Londoners mayContinue reading “London People: Samuel Pepys – Forced Entry”

London People: Freddie Mercury – Top 10 West End Haunts

The Soul City Wanderer hunts out 10 places in London’s West End where Queen and Freddie Mercury could have been spotted back in their heyday. Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue WC2: The video for A Kind of Magic was filmed here.  Heaven: Under the Arches, Villiers Street, WC2. Freddie’s favourite London nightclub haunt back in theContinue reading “London People: Freddie Mercury – Top 10 West End Haunts”