Esoteric London

No. 342: Shad Thames, SE1

Posted in Lettering, Public Art by esotericlondon on June 21, 2011

Thames Path in front of the Design Museum, Shad Thames, London, SE1. Photo © Roger Dean 2011

Twice around the clock; or, The hours of the day and night in London – George Augustus Sala, 1862:

The old Grub Street tradition of the author is defunct. The man of letters is no longer supposed to write moral essays from Mount Scoundrel in the Fleet, to dine at twopenny ordinaries, and pass his leisure hours in night-cellars. Translators of Herodotus no longer lie three in a bed; nor is the gentleman who is correcting the proof-sheets of the Sanscrit dictionary to be found in a hay-loft over a tripe shop in Little Britain, or to be heard of at the bar of the Green Dragon. Another, and as erroneous, an idea of the author has sprung up in the minds of burgesses. He wears, according to some wiseacres, a shawl dressing-gown, and lies all day on a sofa, puffing a perfumed narghile, penning paragraphs in violet ink on cream-laid paper at intervals; or he is a lettered Intriguer, who merely courts the Muses as the shortest way to the Treasury bench, and writes May Fair novels or Della Cruscan tragedies that he may the sooner become Prime Minister.