This excursion will be back soon. In the meantime we’d be happy to organise a private tour for you. Please contact us on 020 7624 3978 | privatewalks@walks.com to make a booking.

Into the Crucible of English Literature – with Chaucer, Shakespeare & Dickens

Tooley Street exit, London Bridge station, London

Guided by Kevin

Crucible is the mot juste. English poetry began here. We'll stand on the spot where, "one morning in the month of May in the 1370s John Gower dipped a quill pen in an ink bottle and wrote a line of verse in English. And…  Yes, that was the moment of birth. It started right there. And the trickle became a stream became a torrent became a mighty river became an ocean. And the names, the writers… Those three names. They're like the three stars that form the dagger in the constellation Orion. Chaucer: the greatest mediaeval poem of, the Canterbury Tales, opening here. To say nothing of Chaucer and Gower being neighbours and clearly influencing one another, making discoveries, reading each other's stuff, doubtless talking, sharing. And Shakespeare: the Globe Theatre, his living here for a time, his most important work being done here. (And that's not to mention the piquant personal stuff – his giving his nobody of a brother the funeral, here, of a gentleman, for example.) And Dickens: this neighbourhood being the focal point of the single most formative and important and life- and art-changing experience of his entire life.