Books that feature St John's Wood

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Some  biographies/autobiographies featuring life in St John’s Wood :

A House in St John’s Wood               Matthew Spender 2015

Spam Tomorrow                               Verily Anderson

Spilling the Beans                             Clarissa Dickson Wright   2007

Tempestuous Petticoats                    Clare Leighton   1947

Southwards from Swiss Cottage        Beatrice Curtis Brown 1947

Reminiscences                                  Edmund Yates

Slipstream                                       Elizabeth Jane Howard

Diaries of George Orwell

London Adventurer                            Arthur Machin

Boys from the Wood (available from Amazon) John Simons

Boys from the Wood Part Two          John Simons (E-Book on Amazon)

 Drawn from memory                               Ernest Shepard

and some of the novels and short stories:

The Young Duke                             Benjamin Disraeli 1828

Man of Property                                John Galsworthy

Woman in White                               Wilkie Collins 1859

A House in the Park                           Ronald Fraser 1937

Forlorn sunset                                 Michael Sadleir  1947

The Unclassed                                  George Gissing

The Vault                                        Ruth Rendell   2010

The Keys of the Street                       Ruth Rendell

The dilemma                                     Penny Vincenzi

The hurt runner                                John Symonds

Making of Henry                                Howard Jacobson

Soul of kindness                               Elizabeth Taylor

Small House at Allington                    Anthony Trollope

Call It a Day (play)                            Dodie Smith   1935

Song of the Shirt (poem)                   Thomas Hood

To the Wood no more                        Ernest Raymond 1954

The Tragic Muse                              Henry James 1890

A scandal in Bohemia                        Arthur Conan Doyle

Murder in St John’s Wood                  E C Lorac

Bingo and the little woman                  P G Wodehouse 1925

Poor relations                                 Compton Mackenzie 1910

The Cazalet chronicles                    Elizabeth Jane Howard

The Moving Toyshop                      Edmund Crispin,   (pseud., Robert Bruce Montgomery) 1946

Adventure of the Italian Nobleman    Agatha Christie 1924

Bliss                                                       Katherine Mansfield  1918

Some historical overviews:

St John’s Wood                                Alan Montgomery Eyre 1913

St John’s Wood & Maida Vale Past     Richard Tames  1998

Cottages and Villas – the birth of the Garden Suburb    Mireille Galinou  2010

Metropolitan Improvements in the 19C     Thomas  H Shepherd & James Elmes 1828

A short history of St John’s Wood      Cecil Beadsmore Smith 1942

Changing London                            J George Head

(the destruction caused by the building of Gt Central Railway)

The Suburbans             T H W Crosland    1905


 Can you tell us about any others?

This page was added on 23/08/2012.

Comments about this page

  • Some of the people involved in an unsolved murder in Cheltenham lived in Radlett Place, St John’s Wood. For details, see Richard Whittington-Egan, The Great British Torso Mystery (Liverpool, Bluecoat Press, 2002). I have a copy of this I’d be glad to give to the Society if it would like it.

    By Timothy d'Arch Smith (17/05/2020)
  • Thank you so much for telling us about the unsolved murder and Radlett Place – we would love to see the book and if you sent it to 7 Middle Field, St Johns Wood Park NW8 6ND it would receive a warm welcome! – thank you for thinking of us, Bridget Clarke

    By Bridget Clarke (19/05/2020)
  • In Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca”,  Colonel Julyan, the magistrate at  Kerrith in charge of the inquest into the death of Rebecca, has a sister who lives in St John’s Wood, in “one of those turnings off the Avenue Road”.

    By Strang (26/07/2016)
  • The book to which Mr Granados refers is The Quest for Corvo: an Experiment in Biography. It was written by A. J. A. Symons and was published in 1934. There are references in it to another Woodite, Maundy Gregory, who lived in what is now Abbey Road Studios. There have been two biographies of Gregory, Honours for Sale by Gerald Macmillan (1954) and Maundy Gregory by Tom Cullen (1974).

    By Timothy d'Arch Smith (22/04/2015)
  • The book “In Search of Corvo” features the “cottage” built in the back garden of 8 Abercorn Place once occupied by: the bibliographer of Oscar Wilde and later by Darcy Cresswell - the New Zealand Poet – who made a modest income selling his poems door to door around the neighbourhood (his ghost has been seen a number of times in the garden, identified by the cloak and slouch hat he always wore.) It had been built by the Edwardian “Gaiety Girl” Maria Studholme Helsby, reputedly as a place to entertain her gentlemen, in order that her mother – who lived with her in the main house – should not be compromised by the use of the larger premises.

    By Martin Granados (24/01/2015)
  • May I suggest: ‘St. John’s Wood – An Abode of Love and The Arts’ by Stella Margetson, formerly of 15 Hamilton Terrace.

    By Stephen Higgins (27/01/2014)
  • There is a very small book called A Walk in the Wood and it was by the last vicar of All Saints. It had lots of old photos of St. John’s Wood.

    By Jayne R (28/07/2013)

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