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London: The Biographyby Peter Ackroyd
Synopses & Reviews
London: The Biography is the pinnacle of Peter Ackroyd?s brilliant obsession with the eponymous city. In this unusual and engaging work, Ackroyd brings the reader through time into the city whose institutions and idiosyncrasies have permeated much of his works of fiction and nonfiction.
Peter Ackroyd sees London as a living, breathing organism, with its own laws of growth and change. Reveling in the city?s riches as well as its raucousness, the author traces thematically its growth from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Anecdotal, insightful, and wonderfully entertaining, London is animated by Ackroyd?s concern for the close relationship between the present and the past, as well as by what he describes as the peculiar "echoic" quality of London, whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens.
London confirms Ackroyd?s status as what one critic has called "our age?s greatest London imagination."
"Biographer/novelist Ackroyd offers a sweeping, highly readable account of London's colorful and complicated history. In encyclopedic detail, he discusses everything from the city's crime and its theater to the notorious fog, plagues, and Great Fire of 1666, from which the city had to be almost built....Ackroyd's passion for this remarkable city is clearly evident. Recommended for all public libraries." Library Journal
"An impressionistic history of England's capital city, by British novelist/biographer Ackroyd, who knows his subject well and writes about it with considerable passion. This is not a history in any usual sense of the term, still less a travelogue or walking guide, although it has elements of all of these genres....Somewhat rarefied, but a splendid tribute to the great metropolis." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Peter Ackroyd is a best-selling writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His most recent books include the biographies Dickens, Blake, and Thomas More, and the novels The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, Milton in America, and The Plato Papers. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature?s William Heinemann Award (jointly), the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Guardian fiction prize. He lives in London.
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