This Lovely Literary Tube Map Swaps Out Stations For Beloved Books Set In London
London’s Tube map sure has gone through a litany of designs and interpretations. There’s a pint price map, to find the cheapest pint near your stop. There’s the International-Women’s Day commemorating map that renamed stations after trailblazing women. And, there’s the Literary Tube Map of London, which replaces stations with great works of literature, based on the area in which they’re set.
(See a large-scale version of the map here).
The literary tube map was created in 2019, courtesy of a then-children’s publishing worker known only as Tom. The mysterious Tom swapped out the stations for book titles as part of a charitable campaign.
Whose work can be found on the map?
Ruling the roost amongst authors is noted London lover Charles Dickens, with no fewer than seven of his novels represented. Graham Greene, Zadie Smith, and Martin Amis also make multiple appearances on the map, which seems to feature a new work each time you look.
The literary tube map is a fascinating one to pore over, but I’d advise against using it as a navigational tool. For instance, London Fields appears, but it’s in rather the wrong place! On the literary tube map it refers to the Martin Amis novel set around High Street Kensington, rather than the wonderful London park out east. Honestly, Bank was confusing enough without renaming it!
At least Paddington didn’t stray too far, simply being renamed Paddington Bear. But, if you use the map to navigate Central London you may just find yourself Adrift In Soho – by which we mean, stuck at Oxford Circus…
Keen eyes will notice that it’s not the most modern of Tube map redesigns, missing out the whole of the Overground – not to mention the Elizabeth Line. It was created back in 2019 after all! And, anyway, it’s hardly intended to be a navigational tool, so the absence of a few lines will hardly prevent us from enjoying it!
Also published on Medium.