Cressida Road, N19

Place Name

Cressida appears in William Shakespeare’s retelling of the Trojan War love and betrayal story Troilus & Cressida. It it Cressida is a Trojan woman, the daughter of Calchas, a Greek seer. She falls in love with Troilus, the youngest son of King Priam, and pledges everlasting love, but when she is sent to the Greeks as part of a hostage exchange, she forms a liaison with the Greek warrior Diomedes. In later culture she becomes an archetype of a faithless lover. Today, Shakespeare’s name seems almost commonplace as our admiration for the Bard as grown in the centuries since his death. But it wasn’t always the case, as late as March 27, 1866, a letter to The Times complained that many of the great figures of English history had been ignored in London’s street nomenclature. “We have one little out-of-the-way terrace called Shakespeare” (a reference to small group of houses around a pub named after the Bard in Holloway Road – now gone), Civis wrote. The letter seems to have had an effect as this is one of a small cluster of streets not far from the Holloway Road that are named  after characters from Shakespeare’s plays. This road was first mentioned around 1885. Nearby streets include Miranda Road, Prospero Road, Lysander Grove and Lysander Mews, and Parolles Road.

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