Tagged: Ben Pester

London Consequences 2 – a collaborative novel

Announcing a new and very exciting collaborative writing project: London Consequences 2.

London Consequences 2 is a collaborative novel being written from September to December 2022 by a collection of amazing contemporary writers (see below!). It is organised and curated by David Collard, Jonathan Gibbs and Michael Hughes, and is a creative response and homage to a little-known but very interesting book published 50 years ago called, yes, London Consequences.

London Consequences was a collaborative novel written for the 1972 Festivals of Britain and edited by Margaret Drabble and BS Johnson. Drabble and Johnson co-wrote an opening chapter, and then passed the manuscript on to a series of 18 writers (including Melvyn Bragg, Olivia Manning and Eva Figes) who each wrote one chapter before passing it on, until it returned to the editors, who co-wrote the closing chapter. The published book listed the contributing novelists, but each chapter was anonymous, giving readers the fun parlour-game challenge of trying to work out who wrote what. (There was a £100 reward for whoever could successfully do this – as yet we have no idea if this was collected!)


Original writers:
Paul Ableman
John Bowen
Melvyn Bragg
Vincent Brome
Peter Buckman
Alan Burns
Barry Cole
Eva Figes
Gillian Freeman



Jane Gaskell
Wilson Harris
Rayner Heppenstall
Olivia Manning
Adrian Mitchell
Julian Mitchell
Andrea Newman
Piers Paul Read
Stefan Themerson

The original novel features a middle-class London couple, Anthony (a journalist) and his wife Judith (a mother and housewife) on a single day – Easter Sunday, 1971 – as they navigate the capital, and their relationship with each other. It was published in 1972 by the Greater London Arts Association, with a cover price of 65p.

The idea for this new project came about in a strange and serendipitous way. In April 2022 I turned 50, and Michael Hughes gave me as a present a copy of London Consequences, which I read and very much enjoyed. I tweeted that it would be a fun idea to do a contemporary version, to which David Collard, who knew the original, responded by throwing down the gauntlet. We should do it, he said. 

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