Our St James’s Jaunt -- Where Mrs Dalloway bumps into James Bond
On selected Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings
Situated between Piccadilly and Pall Mall, the district of St James’s is noted for exclusive gentlemen’s clubs, boutique art galleries and upmarket menswear, as well as one of the world’s best lending libraries. Over centuries, St James’s has drawn literally hundreds of writers into its midst, provided settings for novels, and hosted premieres of famous plays.
The St James’s Jaunt focuses on those writers who walked the streets of the district in the first half of the 20th century. You’ll hear sensational stories from their lives and see scenes from their works dramatically performed.
Starting with the soldier poets of World War One and finishing with the spy fiction of the Cold War, this tour takes in the heady days of the fashionable 1920s, the growing threat of fascism in the 1930s, and the dark days of the Blitz.
Writers you’ll meet in St James’s:
On our journey through time and place we see how some of the greatest names in literature responded to world events, scientific progress, and social and political change, and we meet women at the centre of London literary life who fearlessly experimented with form and style, and struggled to gain acceptance from the largely male literary establishment.
What emerges is a network of friends and rivals who survived the impact of wars, wrestled with religious faith, and rode the waves of turbulent love lives.
So, join us in St James’s to explore alleys, backstreets and squares, find lost buildings, secluded gardens and forgotten addresses, as we bring to life the novelists, poets and playwrights who frequented this unique part of the city in the first half of the last century.
The tour lasts approximately 2 1/2 hours. It takes place on selected Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, and pre-booking is essential. To find available dates, please click on 'Book Tour'.
Public tours cost £25 per person. The tours take place entirely outside.
If you'd like to give a tour as a gift, you can buy a Gift Card for as many people as you like, and the recipients can get in touch with us to select a date. Please click 'Book Tour' and the Gift Card option box with emerge.
Private tours are also available. The cost is £50 per person, for groups of 1 to 4 people. Larger groups (e.g., students and book clubs) may come at a discounted rate. Please contact us by email to discuss.