All posts by John Cagan

Recovering stories of women in history – Naomi Clifford

Join us on Tuesday evening at 7pm, March 9th (the day after International Women's Day) with Lambeth author Naomi Clifford.

The rape and murder of Marcy Ashford in 1817 became a huge scandal. It was widely agreed who done it - but the man was acquitted in the first trial, to the outrage of many. The pursuit of justice by her family then took some extraordinary twists, which eventually led to a change in the murder laws of England. Theories about Mary's fate multiplied, obscured by bizarre guidance on rape cases in the Georgian law books. "Was it really murder, or did she commit suicide out of guilt?" The truth, Naomi Clifford says, has remained hidden in plain sight for two centuries....

The Friends are proud to host this event in collaboration with Lambeth Library Service.

It's easy to attend on zoom and free!

book a ticket here

Adam Mars-Jones – Box Hill

Tuesday, 9 February, 7pm - online

Herne Hill author Adam Mars-Jones presents his newest novel.

Box Hill won the Fitzcarraldo Novel Prize, was a Spectator Book of the Year in 2020 and was described by the Guardian as “the biggest small book of the year”.

It is the story of a strange, transgressive relationship that begins at the eponymous Surrey beauty spot. Set in the gay biker community during the late 1970s, it features loving depictions of the “scene” in such unlikely locations as suburban Woking and West Byfleet. A lost world recreated with sharp observation, affection and exquisite humour Margaret Drabble said: “It is a characteristic Mars-Jones mixture of the shocking, the endearing, the funny and the sad, with an unforgettable narrator. The sociological detail is as ever acutely entertaining.”

Other reviews describe it as clever, subtle, intimate, stirring, quietly powerful, darkly affecting, biting, stunning, a revelation of love and magic, not for the prudish, chatty - and very funny.

Join us on February 9 and make up your own mind!

to register for an invitation, email:

© Rob Smart


Tuesday 12 January, 7pm, online

Our latest monthly FoCL "First Tuesday" author talk!

Join Roy Vickery of South London Botanical Institute to discuss his
book, Vickery's Folk Flora: An A-Z of the Folklore and Uses of British
and Irish Plants.

Roy’s book is a dictionary of British (native, naturalised and
cultivated) plants and the folklore associated with them. Unlike many
plant-lore publications Vickery's Folk Flora tells us what people
currently do and believe, rather than what Victorians did and
believed. The result is a vivid demonstration that plant folklore in
the British Isles is not only surviving but flourishing; adapting and
evolving as time goes by, even in urban areas.
Organised by the Friends of Carnegie Library.

To register, email:

Library services still on offer!

The library is currently not open for regular visits due to covid-19 restrictions - but there are services still available.

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am to 4pm

(to maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe you will need an appointment to use the library)

to make an appointment call:
020 7926 6050

Services on offer:

PCs, printing, photocopying and scanning

Select & Collect - Reserve books online or get in touch and the librarians will help you select items

Home Library Service - the library can deliver books to you if you are housebound and cannot get to a library.

There is an extensive online service on offer for you to enjoy. For ebooks, audiobooks, film streaming and more visit: