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Peter Ackroyd follows LONDON: THE BIOGRAPHY with a book which is equally original and even more magnificent in scope.

Highly original and magnificent in scope, Ackroyd's latest work discovers the roots of English cultural history in the Anglo-Saxon period, and traces it through the centuries.

What does it mean to be English? This dazzling book demonstrates that a quintessentially English quality can be discovered in all forms of English culture, not only in literature but also in painting, music, architecture, philosophy and science.

Just as LONDON: THE BIOGRAPHY guided the reader through the capital city with a mixture of narrative and theme, so ALBION, employing the same techniques, engages the reader with stories and surprises - from Beowulf to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, via Chaucer and Shakespeare, to the Bronte sisters, 'Alice through the Looking Glass' and 'Lord of the Rings'. 'Albion' moves from medieval mystery plays to music hall and pantomime; painting is here, with Hogarth and Turner; and music, with Purcell and Vaughan Williams. Even the English obsession with gardening is represented.

Witty, provocative and anecdotal, this is Peter Ackroyd at his most brilliant and exuberant.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    October 1, 2004


    544 pages

    RRP $55.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Peter Ackroyd

Queer City
Alfred Hitchcock
Charlie Chaplin
Three Brothers
Wilkie Collins
London Under
The English Ghost
The Canterbury Tales
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein
Thames: Sacred River
The Fall Of Troy
The Thames Box Set
The Thames: Sacred River Part 2
The Thames: Sacred River Part 3
Brief Lives 3 - Newton
The Lambs Of London
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III


Parliament: The Biography (Volume II - Reform)
Escape from Baghdad
My Life, Our Times
Six Minutes in May
Queer City
Mansions of Misery
Mapping the Past
A Walk in the Park
The Long Weekend
A Stain in the Blood
David Astor
The Pie At Night
Charles: The Heart of a King
The Great War
High Minds
Steaming to Victory
A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England
For Honour and Fame