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Synopsis: What do writers such as Charles Dickens and Peter Ackroyd, Iain Sinclair and Robert Louis Stevenson have in common? The answer lies in the use these authors make of London as a fictional setting. Yet in these works and in those of other London writers the city is much than merely a backdrop, instead becoming a character in its own right and creating a sense of place that is both a reflection and a reworking of the city. Here London is presented as a living organism, a huge and mysterious labyrinth, and the source of end imagination. A whole world is contained by the city and within it the entire spectrum of human experience. From Bleak House to Hawksmoor, from Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to White Chappell Scarlet Tracings, London has continued to generate a series of fantastic visions. The humorous and the tragic, the grotesque and the bizarre, everything is possible here.In this book, Merlin Coverley examines the major themes in the development of the London novel from its origins in the Victorian metropolis and onward to the present day and the revival of London writing. On the way he explores the Occult Tradition and London Noir, the Disaster Novel and the rise of Psychogeography, and alongside the recognised classics of the genre he recovers some of those lost London writers whose works have been unjustly neglected.