Win £500 in book vouchers by helping us with a 7 minute reader survey click here.

win prizes desmond elliott 2017 eleanor oliphant

Bohemian London by Nick Rennison

Bohemian London

History   Biography / Autobiography   Books for Christmas   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Biography/Autobiography Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

From rebel writers and outrageous occultists, to mayhem-making musicians, the exuberant individuals described herein are a heady hotchpotch of hell-raising, trailblazing outsiders, united by their links to London. As the author notes in his introduction, the city has “always been home to outsiders. To people who won't, or can't, abide by the conventions of respectable society” and, beginning with the rabble-rousing antics of Shakespeare’s unrulier contemporaries, this entertaining book takes readers on an exhilarating journey, with the Big Smoke’s most rebellious residents as tour guides.

We encounter familiar flamboyant figures afresh - William Blake, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas. We also meet lesser-known figures, such as the wealthy women at the heart of the Bright Young Things scene of the twenties and thirties. Later, we are thrust into the Swinging Sixties, and propelled into punk, which opened a door for London’s working class youth to make their own music and art, and thereby make something of themselves. This miscellany of miscreants comes highly recommended for anyone with an interest in London’s colourful cultural history, and for readers who are fuelled by the flames of rebellion. ~ Joanne Owen


If you like Nick Rennison you might also like to read books by George MacDonald Fraser, Arturo Perez-Reverte and Jason Goodwin.

Win a SIGNED FIRST EDITION of How to be Champion!

Get into the Spirit of Christmas with our special SIGNED FIRST EDITIONS competition! We are giving away THREE first edition hardback copies of Sarah Millican's fabulously funny autobiography How to be Champion, each signed by the author!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 4 December 2017. The winners will be notified by 11th December 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 04/12/2017


Bohemian London by Nick Rennison

London has always been home to outsiders. To people who won’t, or can’t, abide by the conventions of respectable society. For close to two centuries these misfit individualists have had a name. They have been called Bohemians.

This book is an entertaining, anecdotal history of Bohemian London. A guide to its more colourful inhabitants. Rossetti and Swinburne, defying the morality of high Victorian England. Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley in the decadent 1890s. The Bloomsburyites and the Bright Young Things. Dylan Thomas, boozing in the Blitz, and Francis Bacon and his cronies, wasting time and getting wasted in 1950s Soho.

It’s also a guide to the places where Bohemia has flourished. The legendary Café Royal, a home from home to artists and writers for nearly a century. The Cave of the Golden Calf, a First World War nightclub run by the Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s widow. The Colony Room, the infamous drinking den presided over by the gloriously foul-mouthed Muriel Belcher, and the Gargoyle Club in Dean Street where the artistic avant-garde mixed with upper-crust eccentrics. The pubs of Fitzrovia where the painters Augustus John and Nina Hamnett rubbed shoulders with the occultist Aleister Crowley and the short-story writer Julian Maclaren-Ross, wearing mirror sunglasses and clutching a silver-topped Malacca cane, held court for his acolytes and admirers.

About the Author

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

23rd November 2017


Nick Rennison

More books by Nick Rennison
Author 'Like for Like'


Oldcastle Books Ltd




Biography / Autobiography
Books for Christmas



Lovereading is a world of books. It has everything you need from new to old and much loved classic books. It even give you recommendations!

Kate Thurston

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

I love the honest opinions, recommendations for every genre and every reader, wish lists and Like for Like.

Amrita Dasgupta