Sunday, November 30, 2008

Poetic Inspiration in South Molton Street

For me, one of the real pleasures of walking in London (when I'm not in a rush) is in making little unexpected historical or cultural discoveries. I've known South Molton Street since I was a teenager but last week, ambling down there en route to Piccadilly, I happened to look upwards (a good thing to do in London, if you're interested in architectural detail). Outside number 17, I noticed an impressive blue plaque that I hadn't seen before and was surprised to discover that Georgian poet, lyricist and illustrator, William Blake had lived there.

The discovery led to me to investigate further and I learnt that he was born in London - in what is now Broadwick Street (off Oxford Street, towards Tottenham Court Road). For some reason I had always imagined him as more of a Counties boy. To discover more about the man and his works, or to revive school-day memories, it's worth exploring his society's website.

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