Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination

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Chatto & Windus, 2002 - Arts, English - 516 pages
19 Reviews
An exciting new book from the acclaimed author of the magnificent London: The Biography.
This book covers the whole of English cultural history from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day -- from the Venerable Bede through English myths such as the legends about King Arthur and Albion to C.S. Lewis; from Chaucer through Spencer to George Eliot; from the English mystics through the philosopher Locke to Iris Murdoch; from Purcell through Elgar to Michael Tippett; from Hogarth through Constable to Turner; from mystery plays through Shakespeare to music hall.
Peter Ackroyd's favourite themes are here: the visionary poetry of Blake, the theatrical novels of Dickens, the humanism of Thomas More -- and there are also explorations of forgery and plagiarism, Romanticism, artificiality, farce and pantomime, assimilation and energy. The author leads the reader through a labyrinth in one of the most exuberant books to be published this year.

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Review: Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination

User Review  - Hashim Alsughayer - Goodreads

I got to say that after spending four years studying English literature, coming back to this wonderful subject was a refreshing thing to do. I'm a huge fan of Ackroyd's work and got used to his ... Read full review

Review: Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination

User Review  - Richard - Goodreads

Excellent Read full review

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Contents

The Tree
3
The Radiates
8
Old English
13
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. He graduated from Cambridge University and was a Fellow at Yale (1971-1973). A critically acclaimed and versatile writer, Ackroyd began his career while at Yale, publishing two volumes of poetry. He continued writing poetry until he began delving into historical fiction with The Great Fire of London (1982). A constant theme in Ackroyd's work is the blending of past, present, and future, often paralleling the two in his biographies and novels. Much of Ackroyd's work explores the lives of celebrated authors such as Dickens, Milton, Eliot, Blake, and More. Ackroyd's approach is unusual, injecting imagined material into traditional biographies. In The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), his work takes on an autobiographical form in his account of Wilde's final years. He was widely praised for his believable imitation of Wilde's style. He was awarded the British Whitbread Award for biography in 1984 of T.S. Eliot, and the Whitbread Award for fiction in 1985 for his novel Hawksmoor. Ackroyd currently lives in London and publishes one or two books a year. He still considers poetry to be his first love, seeing his novels as an extension of earlier poetic work.

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