Pulling Up a Seat from Shakespeare to Sherlock: London’s New Literary Benches

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle bench titled "Sherlock Holmes Stories." Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust.

From Shakespeare to Sherlock, Hercule Poirot to James Bond, London has always had a rich literary history. And now you can sit on it! Thanks to The National Literacy Trust, along with its public art promotor Wild in Art, 50 benches have been commissioned that will be painted to look like open books portraying scenes from famous books.

The Ian Fleming bench titled "James Bond Stories." Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust.

Some of the notable authors are listed below:

Douglas AdamsThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Jane AustenPride and Prejudice

Agatha ChristieHercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly

Charles DickensGreat Expectations

Ian Fleming—James Bond stories

Stephen HawkingA Brief History of Time

Anthony Hurowitz—The Alex Rider Series

George Orwell1984

Dr. SeussThe Cat in the Hat

William Shakespeare—Various Works

Jules VerneAround the World in 80 Days

H.G. WellsThe Time Machine.

For a complete list of benches, authors, and locations, complete with pictures, visit Books About Town.

Oh, and because I know you're wondering, yes you can own these benches. All benches will be opened up to auction, with the proceeds going to the National Literacy Trust. More information on the auctions can be found here.

Which bench is your favorite? Do you think any authors were forgotten? Join the conversation in the comments!


  1. Taarna

    I was in London in June/July and came across one of these benches unexpectedly. What a delight. Then saw the sign. “Please do not sit on the bench.” Took photos, but no sitting!

  2. Clare 2e

    I guess too many backends could affect the paint job, but after a long day walking, how inviting it would be to cop a squat on one of these!

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