Leeson Street tells the story of two very different thoroughfares with the same name. Lower Leeson is architecturally dull, its buildings a pastiche of late eighteenth-century style. The remaining buildings from the earliest days of the street were swept away in the 1970s. In the years since, Lower Leeson Street has become a byword for late-night nightclub entertainment, but it is also home to educational establishments, while many commercial firms have offices there.
Upper Leeson Street is an entirely different story. Its houses, many of which date from the early to mid-nineteenth century, remain untouched, private residences usually with fine front gardens separated from the street by black iron railings. This part of Leeson Street is altogether more spacious and leafier, although with the same traffic problems as Lower Leeson Street.
The entire street is a repository of much history over the past two hundred years, and many famous personages in the arts, in politics, and in public life have had connections with Leeson Street by living there. Their stories and the legends of many other aspects of Leeson Street life are depicted within the pages of the book.