Authors' Club Lunch with C. J. Schüler

October 14, 2021 12:30 pm

It is hard to imagine that the busy townscape of South London was once a great wood, stretching almost seven miles from Croydon to Deptford or that, scattered through the suburbs, from Dulwich to Norwood, a number of oak woodlands have survived since before the Norman Conquest.

The Wood That Built LondonThese woods were intensively managed for a thousand years, providing timber for construction, furniture and shipbuilding, and charcoal for London’s blacksmiths, kilns and bakeries. Now they afford important green space, a vital habitat for small mammals, birds and insects. Drawing on a wealth of documents, historic maps and environmental evidence, The Wood That Built London charts the fortunes of the North Wood from its earliest times: its ecology, ownership, management, and the gradual encroachment of the metropolis.

‘A meticulously researched and hugely enjoyable book about the forgotten forest that built and shaped London.’ – Tiffany Francis-Baker, author of Dark Skies: A Journey into the Wild Night.

‘Timely and informative.’ Travis Elborough, author of A Walk in the Park

C. J. Schüler’s most recent book, Along the Amber Route, was shortlisted for Stanford Dolman Award and longlisted for the Wingate Prize in 2021. His previous works include Writers, Lovers, Soldiers, Spies, a history of the Authors’ Club, of which he was chairman from 2008 to 2015, and three illustrated histories of cartography.

He has written on literature, travel and the arts for The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Tablet and the Financial Times. A former staff member with The Independent and the Rough Guides, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2011. He has been a regular volunteer at the London Wildlife Trust’s Sydenham Hill Wood Reserve since 2011.

To book please contact the booking office at or call 020 7968 0912.

The two-course lunch starting at 12:30pm followed by coffee and mints costs £30. Please book early and inform the club of any dietary requirements.