London: The Biography

Front Cover
Vintage, 2001 - London (England) - 822 pages
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is a living organism, with its own laws of growth and change, so London is a biography rather than a history. It differs from other histories, too, in the range and diversity of its contents. Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. There are chapters on the history of silence and the history of light, the history of childhood and the history of suicide, the history of Cockney speech and the history of drink.

London is perhaps the most important study of the city ever written, and confirms Ackroyd's status as what one critic has called 'our age's greatest London imagination.'

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - www.librarything.com

This is a book composed of short essays on some general topics containing a large number of factoids. While the author has assembled a large amount of information about the city it is often, and far ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - www.librarything.com

An excellent living history of one of the great cities of the world. Ackroyd has researched London history thoroughly and presented in a way that makes you want to book a flight to London, stet. I ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning historian, biographer, novelist, poet and broadcaster. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London- The Biography, Thames- Sacred River and London Under; biographies of figures including Charles Dickens, William Blake, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock; and a multi-volume history of England. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

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