I'm on a Holloway roll at the moment. After uncovering the Holloway origins of Battersea Dogs' Home (see below), this morning I stumbled into the Kentish Town Oxfam bookshop and came away with this.
It's the title that grabbed me. Holloway Road must be about the dullest urban road in the city. (OK, tell me I'm wrong). And for it to be the setting, and provide the title, for a novel which presents itself as a transatlantic version of Kerouac's On the Road is, well, counter intuitive.
And then there was the price: 99p. Actually, 99p for two - but I couldn't find anything else in the price bracket that I fancied. And it is a good cause. And Christmas.
Anyone read the book? I'll give it a go and report back.
Not my normal stamping ground of political memorabilia, but I couldn't resist this 1860s handbill which I picked up at the Monday Covent Garden flea market. And there's quite a story behind it.
I live not far from Holloway, and the one time location of the 'Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs'. The site is now a park - part of it named after Mary Tealby, the woman who founded this dogs home in 1860, turning a disused stables into a shelter. Charles Dickens was among those who brought the home to wider attention. In 1871 it moved to Battersea - and over time became the best known dogs home in the world.
'The Committee are anxious to impress upon the public the fact that this institution is not intended to be a permanent home for old and worn out favourites, nor an hospital for the cure of gentlemen's sick dogs, but simply what it professes to be, a place to which humane persons may send really homeless and famishing dogs found in the streets.'
It's a wonderful piece of public spirited philanthropy - and of stern counsel for those who might out of 'mere caprice' seek to unload a no longer wanted pet.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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