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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some excellent suggestions from The Greenwich Phantom:
Blackheath Poisonings on DVD
Greenwich and Blackheath Past by Felix Barker
The History of Lee by F H Hart
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
Another one from a commenter:
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Stuart Weatherby – set mostly in Blackheath, it’s a nice (fictional) read by a local author.