Deptford Literature Festival:
Dead Men in Deptford – a walking literary tour

Explore the history of Deptford’s waterfront and its impact on today’s literary scene, with author Anna Sayburn Lane.

Please note that this event is now fully booked. If you’d like to be added to the waiting list, please email with the subject ‘Dead Men in Deptford – a walking tour’ and tell us how many places you would like. If spaces become available we will get in touch with you.

Author Anna Sayburn Lane leads a guided walk around the waterfront at Deptford, exploring the area’s rich literary history. The walk will include extracts from work by seventeenth century diarist Samuel Pepys and Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe, who met a mysterious and violent death in Deptford in 1593, and is buried in the church yard of St Nicholas, Deptford Green.

The walk will also look at more recent writing inspired by Deptford, such as Anthony Burgess’ A Dead Man in Deptford, Ros Barber’s The Marlowe Papers and Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor. Sayburn Lane will explain how her own thriller, Unlawful Things, which opens with a fatal stabbing in St Nicholas church yard, was inspired by the literary history and contemporary life of Deptford.

The group will discuss the importance of place in literature, and talk about how history can echo down the ages through place names, pubs and churches. At St Nicholas’s Church, the group will view the plaque to Marlowe and shrine that has developed beneath it – and maybe leave a message in the ‘visitors’ book’ to Christopher Marlowe.

The walk is approximately 3 miles.

About Deptford Literature Festival

Deptford Literature Festival celebrates the creativity and diversity of South East London through stories, words and performance. Most events are free.  It is funded by Arts Council England and run as a collaboration between independent producer Tom MacAndrew and Spread the Word. This event is for people aged 16+. You can read more about the festival at

Free but ticketed, what we’d like you to know
This event works on a first come, first served basis. Any ticket uncollected 5 mins prior to the start time may be subject to reallocation. If you’ve booked a ticket and know in advance of the event day that you can no longer attend, please let us know so we can offer your ticket to someone else.

Walk leader

Anna Sayburn Lane


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Anna Sayburn Lane is a novelist, short story writer and storyteller, inspired by the history and contemporary life of London. Unlawful Things is her first novel.
She has published award-winning short stories in a number of magazines, including Mslexia, Scribble and One Eye Grey. Anna was picked as a “Crime in the Spotlight” new author at the 2019 Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival.

Her Mslexia award-winning story Conservation was described by judge and Booker-longlisted author Alison MacLeod as “a powerful and profound contemporary piece in which one man’s story stands for an entire nation’s… it’s a punch to the heart, a story that will haunt and touch its readers deeply”.

She has told stories at London club The Story Party and One Eye Grey’s Halloween event, Moon Over the Lido.

Meet At Deptford Lounge

The walk will finish at
Surrey Quays Station