Two of the benches relate to our current Forum marking the 100th anniversary of World War I: Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (above) and the children's novel War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (below). First published in 1925, Woolf's novel details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional upper-class woman living in post-war England. Created from two short stories, "Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister," it centers on Clarissa's preparations for a party she will host that evening. With an interior perspective, the story travels forwards and backwards in time and in and out of the characters' minds to construct a cross-section of inter-war social structures. (Fittingly, this BookBench is on the "Bloomsbury Trail.")
We also have I Believe in Unicorns by Murpurgo, who is a British Children's Laureate.
George Orwell, Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, Dr Seuss, The Jeeves and Wooster tales by P.G. Wodehouse (above), P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins, Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Paddington Bear, James Barrie's Peter Pan, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's London, and C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (below).
|Lewis Carroll's perspective-shifting Through the Looking Glass as imagined by prolific illustrator Ralph Steadman.|
|This bench by Trevor Skempton riffs on imagery from The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People by Oscar Wilde.|
|The Sherlock Holmes bench by Valerie Osment.|
|Pupils at Hillside High School in Bootle, Liverpool, decided to let Charles Dickens be the inspiration behind their very own BookBench. Titled Dickens in Liverpool, this is the only bench that was painted in a school.|
|The Samuel Pepys bench by Michele Petit-Jean depicts the Great Fire of London.|
|Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book with Bagheera, Kaa, and Shere Khan.|
Click here to visit our "Spotlight" feature on the ancient city of London—its history, literature, and mystique!
Visit our World War I Forum here, with books, quizzes, videos, DVDs and more.