London beyond time and place Talks beyond time and place Episode 01: David Charnick | Topic: Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous East End

Episode 01: David Charnick | Topic: Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous East EndEpisode 01: David Charnick | Topic: Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous East End

“History and especially the story of London is just a continuous story and we just happen to be in these chapters at the moment. History is not the past, it is just a part of an ongoing story” – David Charnick


David Charnick is a Londoner, a historian, a writer and a qualified City tour guide. Apart from doing his own “Charnowalks”, he is part of “Footprints of London” and is employed as a tutor for tour guiding.

In the first episode of “Talks beyond time and place”, David shares his strangest moments as a tour guide and explains what London as a home means to him.




Based on one of David’s tours, our main topic is London biographer Peter Ackroyd and his view on London, especially on London’s “Monstrous East End“.

From the “trope of the tramp” in his works to Ackroyd’s imaginary projections: Follow us into Peter Ackroyd’s powerful, majestic and dark London, which is full of shadows.


00:00 – London beyond time and place Intro

00:55 – Introduction

02:00 – How and when did you decide to become a tour guide?

03:10 – Footprints of London

06:41 – Have you always been a London historian?

07:10 – What was the most surprising fact you have learned or story that you have heard?

09:35 – What was the strangest moment on a tour? Or the strangest thing you encountered?

11:45 – What kind of people attend your tours? Londoners, tourists, schools?

14:00 – How exactly do you develop your tours?

17:48 – Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous East End

22:11 – The trope of the tramp

27:11 – Do you think that walking London and therefore London turns Ackroyd’s protagonists into monsters?

30:06 – The theatricality of crime in Ackroyd’s works

35:20 – The film “The Limehouse Golem”

36:58 – Why do you think Ackroyd set the Frankenstein story in London?

40:39 – Why do you think Ackroyd places his monsters in the East End?

44:20 – Death and the City

47:55 – What is your favourite place in London?

49:44 – Has dealing with London and its history and its literature changed your view of the city? Has walking the city changed your view of the city?

52:29 – Can you name three Londoners that you would have dinner or a drink with?



Charnowalks – Guided Tours in the City of London and the East End

Footprints of London
Their blog

The Trope of the Tramp“:
David’s article for the Literary London Society’s on-line journal about the importance of Ackroyd’s vagrants (including those in Hawksmoor)

A Horror and a Beauty
Review: David Charnick’s review of Petr Chalupský’s “A Horror and a Beauty: The World of Peter Ackroyd’s London Novels“*

Death and the City“: My review of David Charnick’s short story collection

Buy “Death and the City” by David Charnick here: Death and the City (English Edition)*


The official trailer for the film “The Limehouse Golem”:

Buy the film here:

The Limehouse Golem [Blu-ray]*

The Limehouse Golem [dt./OV]*

“5 Minutes with Peter Ackroyd”:

Buy the Peter Ackroyd’s novels mentioned in the talk:

The House of Doctor Dee*

Hawksmoor (Penguin Decades)*

The Plato Papers: A Novel*

Dan Leno & The Limehouse Golem*

English Music*

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein: A Novel (English Edition)*


My book also features a chapter about Peter Ackroyd and his works and includes a tour along the Hawksmoor churches. The church on the cover is St Anne’s Limehouse, which is also part of David’s “Peter Ackroyd’s Monstrous East End” tour:


Talks beyond time and place” is a series of online conversations by author Philipp Röttgers of “London beyond time and place“. Philipp and his guests chat about how London influences their lives. In every episode, they cover certain topics, depending on the individual guest. Among his guests are scholars, historians, tour guides and more and the atmosphere feels like a conversation in a pub.

Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place
Philipp Röttgers Talks beyond time and place

*= affiliate links/advertising links

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