Eastwick (Metroland)

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Eastwick was a fictional suburb on the outer reaches of the London Underground’s Metropolitan line in Julian Barnes’ novel Metroland. This book, written in 1980, recalled adolescence in the early 1960s.

Features of Eastwick[edit]

At school in the City, to which he travelled daily by train, Christopher Lloyd, the subject of Metroland, made it known during French lessons that he lived in "Metro-land" because that sounded better than Eastwick and stranger than Middlesex (which was still an administrative county in 1961).

Christopher noted that some of the other commuters from Eastwick – "old fuggers" as he called them – were creatures of habit (favourite compartments, favourite seats); that the orange street lights on the way home from the station made red appear brown; and that, on Sundays ("the day for which Metroland was created"), the trains appeared to clatter into Eastwick more loudly than usual.

Likely etymology[edit]

"Eastwick", which was said to be about twenty minutes’ drive from Chesham, was probably an amalgam of Eastcote and Northwick (as in Northwick Park), although there is a parish of Eastwick in East Hertfordshire, to the north-west of Harlow. There is no connection with the town (in New England, USA) in John Updike’s novel, The Witches of Eastwick (1984).

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