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

From Beowulf and the Venerable Bede through King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to Tolkein's LORD OF THE RINGS; from Chaucer through Shakespeare to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters; from Purcell to Vaughan Williams, Hogarth to Turner; from mystery plays and lives of the saints through music hall to pantomime - Peter Ackroyd's favourite themes are there: visionary poetry, theatrical novels, fantastical travel books; English paths in the English landscape, the sound of the sea in English music; the overlapping of myth with reality, fiction with non-fiction - and there are also explorations of forgery and plagiarism; Romanticism and autobiography; translation and assimilation; ruins and antiquarianism.; the English love of miniatures, drag acts and eccentrics; and the English predilection for understatement and embarrassment. As he did in London, Peter Ackroyd leads the reader through a labyrinth. This will be one of the most exciting and exuberant books to be published in 2002.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    October 1, 2004


    544 pages

    RRP $55.00

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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
Brief Lives 3 - Newton
The Lambs Of London
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I
Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III


Six Minutes in May
Meditations: Popular Penguins
Great Expectations
A Fortunate Life
Pride And Prejudice
Anna Karenina (Vintage Classic Russians Series)
Little Women
My Brilliant Career
Heart Of Darkness
The Prince
The Penguin Henry Lawson Short Stories Cla
Wuthering Heights
Parliament: The Biography (Volume II - Reform)
Escape from Baghdad
Roots of Stone
A Little History Of British Gardening
My Life, Our Times