Books about Blackheath

Here are a few suggestions for books that are either about or inspired by the local area. For each one that you buy, I get a few pennies from Amazon that might go towards a lump of coal for Mrs Bugle…

Seriously though, please go and check The Bookshop on the Heath for these books first – the links below should be a last resort! If there are others books that I don’t know about, drop me a note in the comments, and I’ll add them to the list.

All the Neil Rhind books
The Heath by Neil Rhind
They’re the best source of historical information about Blackheath bar none. There are 2 large volumes – Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 1 covers the village and Blackheath Vale. Volume Two is almost impossible to find cheaply as it is out of print. I found it in Blackheath’s Cancer Research shop for a few pounds, but this was a miraculous discovery – it’s usually £50 or so.

There’s also a third volume, called The Heath, which unfortunately I don’t possess (yet).

Fiction

The Blackheath Seance Parlour by Alan Williams

A new addition in 2013 is The Blackheath Seance Parlour by Alan Williams. It’s a great spooky tale about two sisters in Victorian Blackheath, who decide to open a seance parlour. Highly recommended, read my full review here.

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

In terms of books inspired by Blackheath, the one that springs to mind was published a couple of years ago – A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff is pretty much exactly how it looks… Easy to read, fun, and primarily aimed at a female audience. Here’s my review of it from 2009.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Our Old Home

Going back into time, and Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a series of sketches about living as an American in England. Called Our Old Home, it contains reminiscences of his time living in Blackheath. His novel The Scarlet Letter (although not about Blackheath) was the inspiration for the (very funny) movie Easy A from last year.

Charles Dickens makes passing mention of Blackheath in Our Mutual Friend, and also in David Copperfield, as mentioned previously on the blog.

UPDATE:
The Most Intimate Place by Rosemary Furber - a thriller set in Blackheath
The Most Intimate Place by Rosemary Furber is a thriller set in Blackheath. Looks great, and gets excellent reviews. I might try it over Christmas! Thanks to @helstweets for suggesting it.

EVEN MORE!
Some excellent suggestions from The Greenwich Phantom:
Blackheath Poisonings on DVD
Blackheath Poisonings on DVD

Greenwich and Blackheath Past by Felix Barker
Greenwich and Blackheath Past by Felix Barker

The History of Lee by F H Hart
The History of Lee by F H Hart

The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way
The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way sounds like a chilling read, set in the tunnels beneath Greenwich Park – see the Phantom’s review from 2007.

And Jennifer’s suggestion from the comments below:
A couple of duffers go to war by Geoffrey Lee Williams
A couple of duffers go to war by Geoffrey Lee Williams

Another one from a commenter:
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stuart Weatherby
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stuart Weatherby – set mostly in Blackheath, it’s a nice (fictional) read by a local author.

7 Comments

Filed under blackheath, books

7 responses to “Books about Blackheath

  1. Jennifer Williams

    Dear Mr Bugle
    A couple of duffers go to war by Geoffrey Lee Williams and his twin Alan relates life in Blackheath during the war from a child’s point of view.
    On Amazon and published by Amberley

  2. Alan Burkitt-Gray

    You’ve missed out Julian Symons’s The Blackheath Poisonings, published about 30 years ago and still available from Amazon at anything from 1p to £55

  3. TGP

    The Blackheath Poisonings is rather fun, though I’m still wading through the TV series due to it only being available in US format.

    The History of Lee by F H Hart has much about Blackheath as does Greenwich and Blackheath Past by Felix Barker

  4. Just looked at ‘Our Old Home…’ on Amazon, the latest edition at £9.99 looks a bargain compared with the prices of some of the ‘used’ editions from a couple of years ago. maybe it’s an investment?!

  5. Ginger Prince

    You might give The Twelve Days of Christmas a go. Set mostly in Blackheath, it’s a nice (fictional) read by a local author. I hope this link works but if not you can find it easiest under the author’s name; Stuart Weatherby. http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0956427707/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

  6. Neil Rhind

    Sorry to be self-advertising but people keep asking and asking. My latest book (co-authored with Philip Cooper) on Montague House and the Pagoda, Eliot Vale, is now in all the best bokshops, as they say. Hope Bugle readers will enjoy it. Paragon book should be on the bookstalls by March. Very big and a hefty cover price but good value, I like to think.

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