Authorial London is designed to promote literary exploration of any geographic location, designed for those interested in investigating the interplay of literature and place anywhere on Earth
Authorial London is a literary project of Stanford University, which aims to compile references to places in London found in the works and biographies of writers who have lived there through mapping. More than that, the project offers biographical essays authored by Stanford Professor Martin Evans, an original contributor, so that you can explore the lives of authors from London.
Users can explore famous writers who lived in London or select a specific author to analyze curated passages from literature, geo-referenced images or points on the map, and biographical essays. Selecting an author such as Charles Dickens, as shown in the picture below, will
Moreover, users can research a literary work and explore places referenced by the author in London. For example, they can click on a particular point on the map to bring up a list of authors associated with the same neighborhood or a list of literary references to an area or place by several authors. Users can also filter by genre, form, period, social standing, and neighborhood categories to see how conceptions of places and neighborhoods and their perceptions by writers have evolved in the literary imagination over time in literary works versus the lived experience of their writers.
The project is not currently open-access, but the About page lists the methods (with examples of coding and naming conventions used in the project) and tools, including the maps from Harvard’s database, utilized to build the website and form the project. Therefore, it is possible to replicate this project. Moreover, the About page mentions that they will soon be adding a Github so other teams and individuals can create their own website for other cities, add improvements, or create a new way of exploring the data inspired by and building offs their current website. On the other hand, the Authorial London project allows for changes as it can be updated to add new writers and countless literary works of London literature. The project aims to continue “adding to the site until all place references by all writers are represented, and will also be expanding the site with writers not yet included.”