London

London : The Biography

3.95 (4,295 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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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Product details

  • Paperback | 848 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 50mm | 1,148g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Zahlr., tls. farb. Fotos, Abb. u. Pl.
  • 0099422581
  • 9780099422587
  • 99,569

Review Text

"[London] may be several years old but it remains one of the leading narratives as he cleverly weaves through centuries of history to reveal to us the hundreds of different cities within a city"
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Review quote

"It would be no exaggeration to say that Peter Ackroyd's 'biography' of our capital is the book about London. It contains a lifetime of reading and research-but this huge book is light and airy and playful-[He] leads us on a journey both historical and geographical, but also imaginative. Every street, alley and courtyard has a story, and Ackroyd brings it to life for us - marvellous" -- A N Wilson * Daily Mail * "Nothing can quite match the huge strange echo chamber of life-stories, folktales, and urban myths conjured up in Peter Ackroyd's epic vision of his native city. Sparkling, witty scholarship is constantly transformed into smoky mystical street-history, with dark hypnotic meditations on fog, fire, sewage, suicide and civic resurrection" -- Richard Holmes * Daily Telegraph * "Ackroyd is the most effortless guide. You wander by his side through the streets of the old city, savouring its bustle, colours and its smells, the stink of living. This is much more than history; it is a tapestry of inspiration and love. You will not find a better, more visionary book about a place we take for granted" * Observer * "It's this decade's finest work of non-fiction" -- Jude Rogers * The Word * "[London] may be several years old but it remains one of the leading narratives as he cleverly weaves through centuries of history to reveal to us the hundreds of different cities within a city" -- Fiona Hamilton * The Times *
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About Peter Ackroyd

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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Rating details

4,295 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 34% (1,457)
4 38% (1,629)
3 20% (877)
2 6% (244)
1 2% (88)
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