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The Launch Of The Gentle Author’s Tour Of Spitalfields & A Letter

March 30, 2022
by the gentle author

Spitalfields Market by John Allin, 1973


I am delighted to announce that thanks to the magnificent generosity of over 400 people who supported our crowdfund, The Gentle Author’s Tour of Spitalfields will launch at Easter and run throughout the summer.

Our website is now live for bookings until the end of May.





A fold-out pocket-sized map of the tour, illustrated by Adam Dant, with text by The Gentle Author is available for £5.

The Gentle Author’s Tour map contains portraits of more than fifty people – both the living and the dead – who have lived and worked in Spitalfields over the past two millennia.

Follow in the footsteps of all those who came before, with a keen eye and an open heart, to discover the manifold wonders of Spitalfields.

Printed in London on recycled paper by Aldgate Press


Click here to buy a copy of The Gentle Author’s Tour of Spitalfields Map



I hope my readers will not consider it immodest if I republish this letter which appeared in The Guardian last Saturday


32 Responses leave one →
  1. Bob Beadman permalink
    March 30, 2022

    As a result of reading that letter in the Guardian I found your Spitalfields Life. Read a couple of
    pieces signed up and now spend at least 25 minutes each day catching up. Absolutely wonderful
    to have available so many great pictures of life.

  2. March 30, 2022

    Seconded, Josephine! My daily read after The Guardian and the New York Times.
    Robin in Chicago

  3. Chips B permalink
    March 30, 2022

    As someone who used to live in east London (as well as south of the river), your blog offers a connection to a life I am missing more than I thought I would when I left the UK. All I can say in respect of J. Eglin’s letter is: hear, hear.

  4. Robin Gardner permalink
    March 30, 2022

    That letter is what drew my attention to your blog.

  5. Clare Shepherd permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Not immodest at all. This Devon lady wholeheartedly agrees with her Somerset neighbour. This site us a heaven of peace and decency in a crazy world. Thank you for reminding us all of community and humanity.

  6. Sarah Chambers permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Thank you for what you do

  7. Jane Berry permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Thank you Josephine, signed up straight away and the start of my day has improved 100%.

  8. Wendy permalink
    March 30, 2022

    I wholeheartedly agree with Josephine

  9. March 30, 2022

    Well said Josephine!

    Apart from the brilliant writing in the blog I particularly enjoy the fact that you never know what will be featured from day to day, and like so many others I always look forward to seeing what surprising treat the Gentle Author has in store for us.

    Breakfast wouldn’t be the same without the daily Spitalfields Life fix!

  10. Lorraine permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Not at all GA. Ms Elgin’s words sum up the situation perfectly.

  11. Jo Bacon permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Yes saw that letter. Now you are even more famous ♥️ Look forward to booking tour and buying map but site not allowing that yet FYI, or is it me? Xx

  12. Joan Isaac permalink
    March 30, 2022

    As an ex East Ender (Stepney Green) I thoroughly endorse the Guardian letter from Josephine Eglin – Gentle Author daily blogs are a must read ritual every morning. They are superb. I now live retired in Somerset as well!

  13. March 30, 2022

    Congratulations!! Brilliant idea and achievement.

  14. Janet Page permalink
    March 30, 2022

    I couldn’t agree more with the letter writer. Your blog is such a wonderful window onto the fascinating part of the world in which you live. Thank you

  15. Ann Vosper permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Another Devon lady who wholeheartedly agrees with her Somerset neighbour. Your blog is a treat to read every morning especially in these crazy times. Let us be kind to one another.

  16. Glyn Roberts permalink
    March 30, 2022

    My thoughts entirely… I discovered ‘Spitalfields Life’ a few years ago and has become my daily read ever since. I congratulate the Gentle Author on his beautifully written human stories.

  17. Marcia Howard permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Daily followings of The Gentle Author continue to give me hope, so well said Josephine Eglin of Somerset

  18. March 30, 2022

    Congratulations! Well deserved praise, G.A. Maintaining an interesting, lively and daily publication like yours entails a tremendous amount of effort, imagination and much more. Thank you once more.

  19. Sue permalink
    March 30, 2022

    So glad that your tours are taking off. Haven’t been to my home city for eight years but who knows maybe one day.
    You deserve all the good words and your daily missives are much looked forward to.
    (Another Somerset resident)

  20. Frances permalink
    March 30, 2022

    I too read the letter in The Guardian and have enjoyed every minute of ambling through your notes, commentaries and photographs. I calming, informative and gentle oasis in the day.

    My eight year old granddaughter is going to love the social history too.

  21. Louise Felder permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Well done Gentle Author on all your blogs and interesting briefings, which I look forward to reading daily. Will check out your website for tours too.
    Best wishes

  22. Deirdre Robinson permalink
    March 30, 2022

    We’ve both look forward to our daily dose of The Gentle Author, sometimes for whatever reason we miss it our day isn’t quite the same. Deirdre

  23. March 30, 2022

    The truth deserves to be published. My Congratulations!

    Love & Peace

  24. Mary-Ann Tait permalink
    March 30, 2022

    No need to be immodest – you add great richness to our lives with your daily stories of places and people of the East End through times past and present with the additional enjoyment of joining you on your local walks and pub visits. Having worked in the East End for 29 years and now in Scotland for 5 years it makes me enjoy those streets and places I often cycled or walked during my community nursing work. Your stories are of the ilk of Ian Sinclair and a great historical record of the people and buildings/spiritual fabric of the East End.

  25. Linda Granfield permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Thanks, Josephine, for capturing Spitalfields Life so succinctly.
    The Entry of the Day is the first item in my Canadian mailbox every day.
    And the first thing I read each morning.
    BEFORE I even make my cup of coffee! (Imagine!)

  26. March 30, 2022

    “Makes the world a better place”. Indeed.

    Spitalfields Life is the gift that keeps on giving……..exactly when the world needs an uplift.
    Hurrah and huzzah!

    (PS — You know how it is when you recommend a restaurant or a movie or a play to another friend or colleague, and afterwards you always have that secret nagging feeling……”Will they like it?”. Spitalfields Life is a treasure that I have recommended to innumerable people, and I have never given a moment’s thought to “will they like it?”. Optimism!! — Pass it along.)

  27. Davids Antscherl permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Hearty congratulations on both counts! May your tours be conducted in clement weather and may your daily musings continue to flow. Thank you for the delightful morning offerings that I turn to, as antidote to the daily news.

  28. March 30, 2022

    Hear, hear!! I have profited so much from your daily offerings; they often inspire me when nothing else in my world does.

    Congratulations on your new venture. I am sure it will be a hit with those of us who appreciate the quiet, human story. Sadly I will miss this summer’s tours; I won’t be back in the UK until October. But the tour map will find a permanent home in my ‘The Gentle Author’s Cries of London’!

  29. Lizebeth permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Well-deserved praise, indeed. I have been reading your blog for so long that I cannot now remember how I found it. But I will finally be returning to London this Spring after two years, so I hope to get in on one of your Tours. Looking forward to it — and to meeting some of those who also enjoy your writing and devotion to important causes. Thank you.

  30. Jane Clouston permalink
    March 30, 2022

    Wonderful news..wish I could be there !!

  31. Amanda permalink
    March 31, 2022

    Thank you GA for sharing Josephine’s
    Guardian letter, praising the effect so many of us benefit from.

    l enjoy the readers’ comments and reminiscences almost as much, reassuring us that like-minded souls do exist, when it may not seem so apparent as l toddle about.

    My recipe to feel upbeat and sunny on a gloomy gale battered winter’s morning is to dot my room with twinkling candles, a glowing flicker flame fire and snuggle under my cosy quilt to read a week’s worth of Spitalfield’s Life, transported to another world. Magical.

    Wonderful to know that when the daily blog pings on my smartphone at 6am, it is doing so in America, Canada and all over the world and being so appreciated. Coffee is not being drunk, breakfasts are not getting made ?

    l am sure you have no idea how much you inspire creative people to branch out. l bought an 18th century style dolls house, currently furnishing along the lines of 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields as a French weaver’s house. It will take me the rest of my days, but so happily.

    Extra well done on the Tours ? ?

    (l hope someone will fashion you some stand out, distinctive frockcoats for your Tours.)

  32. Andy permalink
    March 31, 2022

    Richly deserved

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