Grub Street (3222 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Peter Heaney (Staffordshire University)

Grub Street, renamed Milton Street in 1830, was synonymous with poverty and hack writing in the eighteenth-century London. Drained of all architectural character by bombs in World War II, it now runs south from Chiswell Street to meet the rising concrete of the 1960s Barbican centre. But then it ran south from the plague pits of Bunhill Fields towards the old London walls, stopping at Fore Street, the chief shopping street in the north of the city and, coincidentally, the birthplace of Daniel Defoe in 1660. The derivation of the name is (probably) from “grube”, a ditch or drain. Earliest forms are “Grobstrat” and “Grobbestrate”, both twelfth century, …

Heaney, Peter. "Grub Street". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 April 2006; last revised 28 April 2006.
[, accessed 27 October 2016.]