>First of all, thanks to everyone who provide helpful suggestions regarading London accommodations in this comment-thread and by e-mail. Following all of your suggestions, I considered and contacted Hughes Parry Hall of the University of London, Alexander Fleming Hall at the University of Westminster, Campbell House of University College London, and the student rooms of Goodenough College. (By the way, I know Goodenough College is named after a person, but that name just cracks me up. No offense meant to the good people of the college — I’m just easily amused. Someone please tell me it’s pronounced ‘good-no’ of ‘good-noff’ or something like that.)
Anyway, in the end I chose Goodenough. (If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me. OK, I’ll stop now.) Seriously, two recommendations from my readers helped, as did the fact that it’s a post-graduate college that caters to people on research or sabbatical trips. It just seemed more grown-up. Plus, you can eat in the subsidized dining halls without locking yourself in to a dining plan (as some of the othere places required) and there’s supposed to be a fridge in my room and a shared and equiped kitchen, so I can eat cheaply at ‘home’ if I like. There’s also network and wifi access galore, and the location can’t be beat for me, because it’s in between the numerous archives and libraries I’ll be using, either walking distance or a quick tube ride.
And the price isn’t bad since I was offered the student rate as long as I have a letter from my institution saying I’m there to do research. (I guess the visiting academic rate is for those who are being paidto visit. I did identify myself as a professor in my e-mail.) It will still be a chunk of change — 40 pounds per night when VAT and other taxes are added — and I have to pay for the entire 28-day stay in advance (!), but it’s cheap by London standards in general, and I’ll have a desk at which to work when I’m not in the library. I have no idea what the rooms look like, but I’m sure they’re like other modern English student rooms I’ve seen — usually slightly nicer than American ones, but student rooms nevertheless — but the pictures of the college itself show it to be quite lovely. And right in the heart of London!