Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lawrence Durrell's London from the Air

Looking northwards over London from Crystal Palace to Hampstead Heath.
I was flying into London last week, and looking out the window I noticed that Crystal Palace was passing just under the wing.  I have walked round that part of London and down through Dulwich and all the way to the Thames as part of my explorations of the city of Lawrence Durrell's youth, and so I was quickly able to pick out some relevant and otherwise interesting sights which I have marked in red.

1. Bottom left: Queen's Hotel (Hotel Regina in Lawrence Durrell's The Black Book). Emile Zola also lived in the Queen's Hotel when he fled France after publishing his J'accuse letter about the Dreyfus case.
2. Bottom right: Crystal Palace.
3. Above Crystal Palace: Hillsboro Road in Dulwich (where Durrell lived while going to school at St Olave’s in Bermondsey).
4. Farther up, long oblong, from left to right: Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’ Park, running into one another.
5. Yet farther up: Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill.
6. To the right of 4 and 5: Fitzrovia (Durrell’s haunts, eg Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Tavern, British Museum).
7. Top: Hampstead Heath.

I have also walked from Hampstead Heath to the Thames.  So I have walked from the top of that photograph to the bottom. London is a wonderful city for walking and making associations.  And you can do much of it walking through parks.