Characters of Fitzrovia

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Chatto & Windus, 2001 - Bohemianism - 262 pages
Between Oxford Street and Euston Road, bordered by Portland Place, Gower Street and Tottenham Court Road, lies a mysteriously evocative area, close to London's heart, known as Fitzrovia. For over 400 years this is where the bohemian life of London has flourished. Fitzrovia is a strange mix with an extraordinary history, one that also holds up a mirror to the rest of the city. For the avant garde, for artists and artisan, Fitzrovia has been a home, the creative hub, full of studios, craftshops and trysting places. Of sex, murder and mayhem, Fitzrovia has had more than its fair share. Alongside grandeur and elegance, exiles and emigres occupied shabby tenements and introduced new styles of cafe and restaurant. Revolutionaries and radicals gathered here. Spivs and spies, princes and prostitutes all jostled in its streets. Medical professionals mingled in institutions set up by free-thinkers, with intellectuals and inventors. Radio and television programmes from Fitzrovia, broadcast to the world, shaped the culture of an empire and a nation. Independent publishing clusters in Fitzrovia, near the legendary pubs where writers and poets met and drank in the 1940s and 50s. From bawdy house

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Contents

Rabblerousers Radicals and Revolutionaries
35
Royalty and Gentry
59
Murderers and Manslaughterers
73
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Mike Pentelow moved to Fitzrovia in the early 1970s, from Essex where he was a trainee journalist on the Thurrock Gazette. He has worked as a sports reporter and industrial correspondent. Since 1983 he has been a reporter for the TGWU magazine. He is a member of the Management Committee of the Fitzrovia Association, and Joint World President of the 'Stand By Me' club. Marsha Rowe was a secretary in Fitzrovia, when she co-founded the feminist magazine Spare Rib in 1972. Born in Australia, she worked her passage, on a ship, to England in 1968, where she joined the magazines and newspapers of the underground counter culture. She is a freelance editor and writer, and lives in London.

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