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Peter Ackroyd - Author

About the Author

Peter Ackroyd is of course a Cockney visionary himself. He has written and presented a 3-part TV series for the BBC on London and few of his prize-winning biographies and novels stray far from his London obsessions - Turner was one of the subjects of a lecture that Ackroyd gave at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1993 (also televised) entitled London Luminaries and Cockney Visionaries; and Turner was also central to his Times article on Reflections on British art. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers, Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

Featured books by Peter Ackroyd

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/09/2016

Late Stuart and Georgian England marked the creation of the great pillars of the English state. The Bank of England was founded, as was the stock exchange, the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation and parliament became the sovereign body of the nation with responsibilities and duties far beyond those of the monarch. It was a revolutionary era in English letters, too, a time in which newspapers first flourished and the English novel was born. It was an era in which coffee houses and playhouses boomed, gin flowed freely and in which shops, as we know them today, began to proliferate in our towns and villages. But it was also a time of extraordinary and unprecedented technological innovation, which saw England utterly and irrevocably transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.

Three Brothers

Three Brothers

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/12/2014

Three Brothers follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel and Sam Hanway, born on a post-war council estate in Camden Town. Marked out from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world - a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, back-biters and petty thieves. London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd's grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to hallowed London publishing houses, from the wealth and corruption of Chelsea to the smoky shadows of Limehouse and Hackney, this is an exploration of the city, peering down its streets, riding on its underground, and drinking in its pubs and clubs. Everything is possible - not only in the new freedom of the 1960s but also in London's timeless past.

Civil War A History of England

Civil War A History of England

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/09/2014

In Civil War, Peter Ackroyd continues his dazzling account of England's history, beginning with the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ends with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II. The Stuart dynasty brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Ackroyd paints a vivid portrait of James I and his heirs. Shrewd and opinionated, the new King was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country in the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant - warts and all - portrayal of Charles's nemesis Oliver Cromwell, Parliament's great military leader and England's only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as 'that man of blood', the king he executed. England's turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare's late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes' great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Civil War also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.

Tudors A History of England

Tudors A History of England

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/09/2012

It is the story of Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome, and his relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and the perfect heir; of how the brief reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gave way to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under 'Bloody Mary'. It tells, too, of the long reign of Elizabeth I, which, though marked by civil strife, plots against the queen and even an invasion force, finally brought stability. Above all, however, it is the story of the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, England was still largely feudal and looked to Rome for direction; at its end, it was a country where good governance was the duty of the state, not the church, and where men and women began to look to themselves for answers rather than to those who ruled them.

London Under

London Under

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2011

The depth below is hot, warmer than the surface, and tunnels down through the geological layers, meeting the creatures that dwell in darkness, real and fictional – rats and eels, monsters and ghosts. There is a Bronze Age trackway under the Isle of Dogs, Anglo-Saxon graves were found under St Paul's, and the monastery of Whitefriars lies beneath Fleet Street. In Kensal Green cemetery a hydraulic device lowered bodies into the catacombs below – ‘Welcome to the lower depths’ – while a door in the plinth of the statue of Boadicea on Westminster Bridge leads to a huge tunnel, packed with cables for gas, water and telephone lines. When the Metropolitan Line was opened in 1864 the guards asked for permission to grow beards to protect themselves against the sulphurous fumes, and called their engines by the names of tyrants – Czar, Kaiser, Mogul – and even Pluto, god of the underworld. 'The vastness of the space, a second earth,’ writes Peter Ackroyd, ‘elicits sensations of wonder and of terror. It partakes of myth and dream in equal measure.’ Going under London is to penetrate history, to enter a hidden world.

Other books by Peter Ackroyd

Dominion A History of England Volume V

Dominion A History of England Volume V

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

'Ackroyd makes history accessible to the layman' - Ian Thomson, Independent The penultimate volume of Peter Ackroyd's masterful History of England series, Dominion begins in 1815 as national glory following the Battle of Waterloo gives way to post-war depression, spanning the last years of the Regency to the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901. In it, Ackroyd takes us from the accession of the profligate George IV whose government was steered by Lord Liverpool, who was firmly set against reform, to the reign of his brother, William IV, the 'Sailor King', whose reign saw the modernization of the political system and the abolition of slavery. But it was the accession of Queen Victoria, aged only eighteen, that sparked an era of enormous innovation. Technological progress - from steam railways to the first telegram - swept the nation and the finest inventions were showcased at the first Great Exhibition in 1851. The emergence of the middle classes changed the shape of society and scientific advances changed the old pieties of the Church of England, and spread secular ideas across the nation. But though intense industrialization brought boom times for the factory owners, the working classes were still subjected to poor housing, long working hours and dire poverty. It was a time that saw a flowering of great literature, too. As the Georgian era gave way to that of Victoria, readers could delight not only in the work of Byron, Shelley and Wordsworth but also the great nineteenth-century novelists: the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Mrs Gaskell, Thackeray, and, of course, Dickens, whose work has become synonymous with Victorian England. Nor was Victorian expansionism confined to Britain alone. By the end of Victoria's reign, the Queen was also an Empress and the British Empire dominated much of the globe. And, as Ackroyd shows in this richly populated, vividly told account, Britannia really did seem to rule the waves.

Dominion A History of England Volume V

Dominion A History of England Volume V

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

'Ackroyd makes history accessible to the layman' - Ian Thomson, Independent The penultimate volume of Peter Ackroyd's masterful History of England series, Dominion begins in 1815 as national glory following the Battle of Waterloo gives way to post-war depression, spanning the last years of the Regency to the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901. In it, Ackroyd takes us from the accession of the profligate George IV whose government was steered by Lord Liverpool, who was firmly set against reform, to the reign of his brother, William IV, the 'Sailor King', whose reign saw the modernization of the political system and the abolition of slavery. But it was the accession of Queen Victoria, aged only eighteen, that sparked an era of enormous innovation. Technological progress - from steam railways to the first telegram - swept the nation and the finest inventions were showcased at the first Great Exhibition in 1851. The emergence of the middle classes changed the shape of society and scientific advances changed the old pieties of the Church of England, and spread secular ideas across the nation. But though intense industrialization brought boom times for the factory owners, the working classes were still subjected to poor housing, long working hours and dire poverty. It was a time that saw a flowering of great literature, too. As the Georgian era gave way to that of Victoria, readers could delight not only in the work of Byron, Shelley and Wordsworth but also the great nineteenth-century novelists: the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Mrs Gaskell, Thackeray, and, of course, Dickens, whose work has become synonymous with Victorian England. Nor was Victorian expansionism confined to Britain alone. By the end of Victoria's reign, the Queen was also an Empress and the British Empire dominated much of the globe. And, as Ackroyd shows in this richly populated, vividly told account, Britannia really did seem to rule the waves.

Queer City Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Queer City Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/05/2018

*** A Sunday Times Bestseller *** In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (`wolf dens' or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure. Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music and the horror of AIDS. Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.

London: A Traveller's Reader

London: A Traveller's Reader

Author: Peter Ackroyd, Thomas Wright Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/05/2018

Loved and hated in equal measure, London was for centuries the world's greatest city. Its streets, teeming with history, have always worn a variety of influences, reflecting the diverse crowds who have walked them. Its citizens have witnessed everything from pilgrimages, celebrations, acts of heroism and moments of religious contemplation to riots, executions, grisly murders and disastrous plagues and fires. Drawing on letters, diaries and memoirs of London's most interesting inhabitants and visitors, this anthology compiled by acclaimed historian Thomas Wright and with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd tells the story of the city from its earliest years. Here you will find John Evelyn's famous account of the Great Fire in 1666, Dickens's brilliant evocation of the Gordon Riots of 1780, an eyewitness description of the execution of Charles I, and Churchill's recollections of the Blitz. There are also less familiar, though no less vivid, excerpts, which provide an entertaining, sometimes risque glimpse into the life, customs and morals of this great city.

Chatterton

Chatterton

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2017

1770 stirbt in London der geniale Dichter Thomas Chatterton von eigener Hand, noch keine achtzehn Jahre alt. Zwei Jahrhunderte spater macht ein junger Schriftsteller eine Entdeckung, die ihn an der Literaturgeschichte zweifeln lat. Hat Chatterton den Selbstmord nur vorgetauscht, um in Ruhe weiterschreiben zu konnen? Welche entdeckten Manuskripte sind echt, welche Falschungen? Wer war Chatterton wirklich? Eine vieldeutige Komodie der Irrungen und Eitelkeiten, aber auch ein leidenschaftliches Pladoyer fur das ratselhafte Wesen der Kunst und Poesie.

Die Uhr in Gottes Handen

Die Uhr in Gottes Handen

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2017

Durch einen Waldbrand wird ein geheimnisvoller Grabhugel freigelegt. Und fortan scheiden sich daran die "e;Geister"e;. Ein moderner Schauerroman, der sich ber die Auswchse der Esoterik amsiert, aber gleichzeitig getragen ist von der Achtung vor der mystischen Kraft des Vergangenen.

Der Fall des Baumeisters

Der Fall des Baumeisters

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2017

Nicholas Dyer wird nach dem groen Brand von London im fruhen 18. Jahrhundert mit dem Neubau von sieben Kirchen beauftragt. Sie sollen das aufbluhende Zeitalter der Vernunft, den Geist der Wissenschaft reprasentieren. Doch der geheimnisvolle Dyer fuhlt sich alteren Idealen verpflichtet: Seine Kirchen stehen auf den Uberresten vorchristlicher Kultstatten, ihr Bau folgt obskuren Gesetzmaigkeiten der Schwarzen Magie. Und ihre Fertigstellung fordert schreckliche Blutopfer. Zwei Jahrhunderte spter: Nicholas Hawksmoor, Inspektor bei Scotland Yard, untersucht eine geradezu irrsinnige Serie von Morden an Kindern und Stadtstreichern. Ihr einziges gemeinsames Merkmal: Sie geschehen in unmittelbarer Nhe gewisser Kirchen aus dem 18. Jahrhundert. Logik hilft bei der Aufklrung ebensowenig weiter wie modernste kriminalistische Methoden. Eher scheint ein anonymer Brief mit seltsamen kabbalistischen Zeichen auf die richtige Spur zu weisen. Angesichts der Verbrechen zweifelt Inspektor Hawksmoor, wie Dyer, an der Kraft des aufgeklrten Verstandes. In schmutzigen Absteigen und Schenken der Londoner Slums geht er scheinbar albernen Gerchten von einem frchterlichen Geist aus der Vergangenheit nach, der gekommen sei, die Frevel der modernen Zivilisation zu rchen. Immer tiefer zieht es Hawksmoor in den Strudel einer horriblen magischen Unterwelt: Er hrt gespenstische Stimmen, fhlt sich verfolgt und kann nicht mehr zwischen Traum und Wirklichkeit unterscheiden. Ist es mglich, da Dyer noch lebt? Oder hat am Ende er selber in geistiger Umnachtung die Morde begangen?

Der Golem von Limehouse

Der Golem von Limehouse

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2017

1880 im Londoner Stadtteil Limehouse. In Herbstnachten geht ein Morder um. Eines seiner schrecklich verstummelten und nach okkulten Ritualen zerlegten Opfer ist der judische Gelehrte Salomon Weil. Neben seiner Leiche liegt ein Lexikon, das beim Stichwort "e;Golem"e; aufgeschlagen ist. Er ist ein Bekannter von Karl Marx. Die Morde hren erst auf, als ein Jahr spter die Aktrice Elizabeth Cree den Tod am Strang stirbt. Sie soll ihren Mann mit Arsen vergiftet haben. Auch er war ein Bekannter von Karl Marx, und so gert schlielich Marx selbst in Verdacht, der Golem von Limehouse zu sein. Doch das eigentliche Geheimnis dieses Romans liegt tiefer. Thomas de Quinceys Essay "e;Der Mord als schne Kunst betrachtet"e; spielt bei der Aufklrung des Falles eine entscheidende Rolle. Auch die sozialen Utopien des Romanciers George Gissing oder die Ideen von Charles Babbage, dem Erfinder der Rechenmaschine, sind Schlssel zu den Verbrechen. Gissing und Babbage vertreten aufgeklrte Ideen, aber denen scheinen okkulte Gedanken zugrunde zu liegen, die dem Golem, jenem grauenhaften "e;Ding ohne Form"e;, erst Gestalt verleihen ... "e;Der Golem von Limehouse"e; ist ein fesselnder Thriller, der zugleich auf die schrecklichen Ereignisse unserer Epoche vorausdeutet, indem er zeigt, da es kein Licht ohne Dunkel gibt, keine Aufklrung ohne die Mchte der Finsternis.

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Revolution, the fourth volume of Peter Ackroyd's enthralling History of England begins in 1688 with a revolution and ends in 1815 with a famous victory. In it, Ackroyd takes readers from William of Orange's accession following the Glorious Revolution to the Regency, when the flamboyant Prince of Wales ruled in the stead of his mad father, George III, and England was - again -at war with France, a war that would end with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Late Stuart and Georgian England marked the creation of the great pillars of the English state. The Bank of England was founded, as was the stock exchange, the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation and parliament became the sovereign body of the nation with responsibilities and duties far beyond those of the monarch. It was a revolutionary era in English letters, too, a time in which newspapers first flourished and the English novel was born. It was an era in which coffee houses and playhouses boomed, gin flowed freely and in which shops, as we know them today, began to proliferate in our towns and villages. But it was also a time of extraordinary and unprecedented technological innovation, which saw England utterly and irrevocably transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.

The Limehouse Golem

The Limehouse Golem

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/08/2017

NOW AN UNMISSABLE FILM STARRING BILL NIGHY, DOUGLAS BOOTH AND OLIVIA COOKE. `Mesmerising, macabre and totally brilliant' Daily Mail Before the Ripper, fear had another name. London, 1880. A series of gruesome murders attributed to the mysterious 'Limehouse Golem' strikes fear into the heart of the capital. Inspector John Kildare must track down this brutal serial killer in the damp, dark alleyways of riverside London. But how does Dan Leno, music hall star extraordinaire, find himself implicated in this crime spree, and what does Elizabeth Cree, on trial for the murder of her husband, have to hide? Peter Ackroyd brings Victorian London to life in all its guts and glory, as we travel from the glamour of the music hall to the slums of the East End, meeting George Gissing and Karl Marx along the way.

Queer City Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Queer City Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/05/2017

*** A Sunday Times Bestseller *** In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way - through the history and experiences of its gay population. In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (`wolf dens' or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure. Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music and the horror of AIDS. Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other. 'Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London' Independent

Queer City Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Queer City Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/05/2017

Peter Ackroyd is our preeminent chronicler of London. In Queer City, he looks at the metropolis in a whole new way - through the history and experiences of its gay population. In Roman Londinium the penis was worshipped and homosexuality was considered admirable. The city was dotted with lupanaria (`wolf dens' or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops and clergy, monks and missionaries. His rule was accompanied by the first laws against queer practices. What followed was an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure, from the notorious Normans, whose military might depended on masculine loyalty, and the fashionable female transvestism of the 1620s; to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early 1800s and the `gay plague' in the 1980s. Ackroyd takes us right into this hidden city, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other. In a city of superlatives, it is perhaps this endless sexual fluidity and resilience that epitomise the real triumph of London. 'Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London' Independent

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 25/10/2016

A gripping short biography of the extraordinary Alfred Hitchock, the master of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with fear and ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with fish from his father's shop. Afraid to leave his bedroom, he would plan great voyages, using railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. So how did this fearful figure become the one of the most respected film directors of the twentieth century? As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press's portrait of him, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. In this quick-witted portrait, Ackroyd reveals something more: a lugubriously jolly man fond of practical jokes, who smashes a once-used tea cup every morning to remind himself of the frailty of life. Iconic film stars make cameo appearances, just as Hitch did in his own films: Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and James Stewart despair of his detached directing style and, perhaps most famously of all, Tippi Hedren endures cuts and bruises from a real-life fearsome flock of birds. Alfred Hitchcock wrests the director's chair back from the master of control and discovers what lurks just out of sight, in the corner of the shot.

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/09/2016

Revolution, the fourth volume of Peter Ackroyd's enthralling History of England begins in 1688 with a revolution and ends in 1815 with a famous victory. In it, Ackroyd takes readers from William of Orange's accession following the Glorious Revolution to the Regency, when the flamboyant Prince of Wales ruled in the stead of his mad father, George III, and England was - again - at war with France, a war that would end with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Late Stuart and Georgian England marked the creation of the great pillars of the English state. The Bank of England was founded, as was the stock exchange, the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation and parliament became the sovereign body of the nation with responsibilities and duties far beyond those of the monarch. It was a revolutionary era in English letters, too, a time in which newspapers first flourished and the English novel was born. It was an era in which coffee houses and playhouses boomed, gin flowed freely and in which shops, as we know them today, began to proliferate in our towns and villages. But it was also a time of extraordinary and unprecedented technological innovation, which saw England utterly and irrevocably transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Revolution A History of England Volume IV

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/09/2016

Late Stuart and Georgian England marked the creation of the great pillars of the English state. The Bank of England was founded, as was the stock exchange, the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation and parliament became the sovereign body of the nation with responsibilities and duties far beyond those of the monarch. It was a revolutionary era in English letters, too, a time in which newspapers first flourished and the English novel was born. It was an era in which coffee houses and playhouses boomed, gin flowed freely and in which shops, as we know them today, began to proliferate in our towns and villages. But it was also a time of extraordinary and unprecedented technological innovation, which saw England utterly and irrevocably transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 02/08/2016

V istorii mirovogo kinematografa s imenem Al'freda Hichkoka - rezhissera, prodyusera, scenarista - nerazryvno svyazan zhanr trillera i ponyatie saspensa. Zakompleksovannyj tolstyak obladal volshebnym darom, pozvolyavshim emu obrashchat' vechno terzavshie ego strahi na pol'zu tvorchestvu: Hichkok masterski sozdaval v svoih fil'mah atmosferu trevozhnoj neopredelennosti i napryazhennogo ozhidaniya. Strannyj, sklonnyj k zhestokim rozygrysham chelovek, v molodosti ispytavshij vliyanie nemeckogo i russkogo kino, ne boyalsya ehksperimentirovat', i postoyanno ispol'zoval novatorskie, a poroj i shokiruyushchie priemy. Rovesnik kinematografa, on ros vmeste s nim, sozdavaya i razvivaya novye zhanry, ot komedijnogo trillera do fil'ma uzhasov i tonchajshego psihologicheskogo detektiva. Emu dovelos' rabotat' s samymi zvezdnymi akterami Gollivuda, takimi kak Ingrid Bergman, Kehri Grant, Dzhejms Styuart, Grejs Kelli. Fil'my Hichkoka stali klassikoj mirovogo kinematografa, on udostoen zvezdy na gollivudskoj Allee slavy, pochetnoj nagrady Amerikanskogo instituta kino, ordena Britanskoj imperii.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/2016

Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with fear and ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with fish from his father's shop. Afraid to leave his bedroom, he would plan great voyages, using railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. So how did this fearful figure become the one of the most respected film directors of the twentieth century? As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press's portrait of himself, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. In this quick-witted portrait, Ackroyd reveals something more: a lugubriously jolly man fond of practical jokes, who smashes a once-used tea cup every morning to remind himself of the frailty of life. Iconic film stars make cameo appearances, just as Hitch did in his own films. Grace Kelly, Carey Grant and James Stewart despair of his detached directing style, and, perhaps most famously of all, Tippi Hedren endures cuts and bruises from a real-life fearsome flock of birds. Alfred Hitchcock wrests the director's chair back from the master of control and discovers what lurks just out of sight, in the corner of the shot.

Civil War The History of England Volume III

Civil War The History of England Volume III

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2015

In Civil War, Peter Ackroyd continues his dazzling account of England's history, beginning with the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and ends with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II. The Stuart dynasty brought together the two nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked by political divisions that echo to this day. More importantly, perhaps, the Stuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war, and the killing of a king. Ackroyd paints a vivid portrait of James I and his heirs. Shrewd and opinionated, the new King was eloquent on matters as diverse as theology, witchcraft and the abuses of tobacco, but his attitude to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that would split the country in the reign of his hapless heir, Charles I. Ackroyd offers a brilliant - warts and all - portrayal of Charles's nemesis Oliver Cromwell, Parliament's great military leader and England's only dictator, who began his career as a political liberator but ended it as much of a despot as 'that man of blood', the king he executed. England's turbulent seventeenth century is vividly laid out before us, but so too is the cultural and social life of the period, notable for its extraordinarily rich literature, including Shakespeare's late masterpieces, Jacobean tragedy, the poetry of John Donne and Milton and Thomas Hobbes' great philosophical treatise, Leviathan. Civil War also gives us a very real sense of the lives of ordinary English men and women, lived out against a backdrop of constant disruption and uncertainty.

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2015

He was the very first icon of the silver screen, and is one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood, even a hundred years on from his first film. But what of the man behind the moustache? The director holding the camera as well as acting in front of it? Peter Ackroyd's new biography turns the spotlight on Chaplin's life as well as his work, from his humble theatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award. Everything is here, from the glamour of his golden age to the murky scandals of the 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. This masterful brief life offers fresh revelations about one of the most familiar faces of the last century and brings the Little Tramp into vivid colour.

Three Brothers

Three Brothers

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/12/2014

Three Brothers follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel and Sam Hanway, born on a post-war council estate in Camden Town. Marked out from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world - a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, back-biters and petty thieves. London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd's grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to hallowed London publishing houses, from the wealth and corruption of Chelsea to the smoky shadows of Limehouse and Hackney, this is an exploration of the city, peering down its streets, riding on its underground, and drinking in its pubs and clubs. Everything is possible - not only in the new freedom of the 1960s but also in London's timeless past.

J.M.W. Turner

J.M.W. Turner

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 21/10/2014

In this second volume in the Ackroyds Brief Lives series, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brings us a man of humble beginnings, crude manners, and prodigious talents, the nineteenth-century painter J. M. W. Turner.Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London in 1775. His father was a barber, and his mother came from a family of London butchers. His speech was recognizably that of a Cockney, and his language was the language of the streets. As his finest paintings show, his language was also the language of light. Turners landscapesextraordinary studies in light, colour, and texturecaused an uproar during his lifetime and earned him a place as one of the greatest artists in history.Displaying his artistic abilities as a young child, Turner entered the Royal Academy of Arts when he was just fourteen years old. A year later his paintings appeared in an important public exhibition, and he rapidly achieved prominence, becoming a Royal Academician in 1802 and Professor of Perspective at the Academy from 18071837. His private life, however, was less orderly. Never married, he spent much time living in taverns, where he was well known for his truculence and his stinginess with money. Peter Ackroyd deftly follows Turners first loves of architecture, engraving, and watercolours, and the country houses, cathedrals, and landscapes of England. While his passion for Italy led him to oil painting, Turners love for London remained central to his heart and soul, and it was within sight of his beloved Thames that he died in 1851. His dying words were: The sun is God.Also available in ACKROYDS BRIEF LIVESChaucer

Exile and Restoration A Study of Hebrew Thought of the Sixth Century BC

Exile and Restoration A Study of Hebrew Thought of the Sixth Century BC

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2013

'A masterly survey of the period running from the eve of the exile to the end of the sixth century BC. It is a period that abounds in problems, and the author shows a fine acquaintance with a vast literature in which they are discussed. He in cautious in judgment. courteous and fair to those with whom he is unable to agree. never dogmatic and always skilful in leading the reader through the intricacies without bewildering him' (The Times Literary Supplement). 'If one persists to the end, following, under the guidance of a very fine scholar, what is undoubtedly the hard way, one will get a reward out of all proportion to what one would receive from a facile outline of the period which did not do justice to the complexities of the evidence. Professor Ackroyd is to be congratulated on a fine achievement' (Norman W. Porteous in Theology). Peter R Ackroyd was Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament Studies in the University of London.

Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2013

Short and oddly built, with a head too big for his body, extremely short-sighted, unable to stay still, dressed in colourful clothes, Wilkie Collins looked distinctly strange. But he was none the less a charmer, befriended by the great, loved by children, irresistibly attractive to women - and avidly read by generations of readers. Peter Ackroyd follows his hero, `the sweetest-tempered of all the Victorian novelists', from his childhood as the son of a well-known artist to his struggling beginnings as a writer, his years of fame and his life-long friendship with the other great London chronicler, Charles Dickens. As well as his enduring masterpieces, The Moonstone - often called the first true detective novel - and the sensational The Woman in White, he produced an intriguing array of lesser-known works. Told with Ackroyd's inimitable verve, this is a ravishingly entertaining life of a great storyteller, full of surprises, rich in humour and sympathetic understanding.

Newton

Newton

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2012

Las anecdotas que dieron origen a la leyenda de Isaac Newton son innumerables: algunas son apocrifas, otras son en realidad hagiograficas y unas mas son simplemente fabulosas; todas ellas provienen de sus contemporaneos, quienes lo ensalzaron, y de los siglos XVIII y XIX, cuando se le considero incluso como un "e;mago"e; que supo descifrar el enigma del universo. Peter Ackroyd, sin embargo, nos muestra en estas paginas a un hombre mas bien solitario y reservado, celoso de sus conocimientos, incluso vulnerable y suspicaz, pero con una fe inquebrantable en su talento, poseedor de un genio ante el cual los demas jamas pudieron permanecer indiferentes. De esta manera, se aprecia mejor el brillo unico de la energia intelectual de Newton, el hombre que cambio para siempre la percepcion que se tenia de la naturaleza y que hoy continua dando forma a nuestra comprension del mundo.

London The Concise Biography

London The Concise Biography

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/04/2012

An abridged edition of Peter Ackroyd's magisterial biography of the city of London. Prize-winning historian, novelist and broadcaster, Peter Ackroyd takes us on a journey - historical, geographical and imaginative - through the city of London. Moving back and forth through time, Ackroyd is an effortless, exuberant guide to times of plague and pestilence, fire and floods, crime and punishment, and sex and theatre. He brings the ever changing streets alive for the reader and shows us what lies beneath our feet and above our heads. His biography is as rich in detail and fizzing with vitality as the city itself.

London Under

London Under

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

London Under is an atmospheric, imaginative introduction to everything that goes on under London, from original springs and streams and Roman amphitheatres to Victorian sewers, gang hideouts and modern Underground stations. This book tunnels down through the geological layers, meeting the creatures, both real and fictional, that dwell in the darkness - rats and eels, monsters and ghosts. From the Anglo-Saxon graves under St Paul's, to the hydraulic device in Kensal Green cemetery which lowered bodies into the catacombs below, to the fossils uncovered when the Victoria Line was built and the gold bars within the Bank of England's vaults, London Under takes you into a hidden world, beneath our feet.

Mystery Of Charles Dickens

Mystery Of Charles Dickens

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 01/04/2012

In this BBC Radio adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's spectacular one-man show, Simon Callow portrays both Charles Dickens and many of his best-loved characters, from Mr Micawber and Bill Sikes to Oliver Twist and Nancy. Readings from his novels interweave with the author's own words and an incisive, compassionate narrative. Dickens' idyllic childhood in Chatham was swapped for his family's penurious existence in London. With his father imprisoned for debt, young Charles was deprived of an education and forced to work in a blacking factory. Such experiences moulded him into the fiercely industrious, ambitious writer who would later claim that his characters talked to and touched him. Full of fascinating insight, the play illustrates how Dickens never quite managed to escape the dark shadows cast by his earlier life. Featuring material not included in the radio broadcast, this production is prefaced with an introduction by Callow himself.

The English Ghost Spectres Through Time

The English Ghost Spectres Through Time

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/10/2011

The English see more ghosts than any other nation. From medieval times to the present day, stories have been told about ghosts who avenge injustice, souls who long for peace and spooks who just want to have fun. The English Ghost is a treasure trove of such sightings; comical and scary, like all the best ghost stories, these accounts, packed with eerie detail, range from the moaning child that terrified Wordworth's nephew at Cambridge to modern day hitchhikers on Blue Bell Hill.

The Death of King Arthur The Immortal Legend

The Death of King Arthur The Immortal Legend

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2011

A gripping retelling of the timeless epic of romance, enchantment and adventure, Peter Ackroyd's The Death of King Arthur recasts Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur in clear, compelling modern English prose, published in Penguin Classics. 'In the old wild days of the world there was a King of England known as Uther Pendragon; he was a dragon in wrath as well as in power ...' Born with the help of Merlin's magic, blessed with the sword of Excalibur, Arthur becomes King of a troubled England, beginning a golden age of chivalry at the court of Camelot. But his reign is soon to be torn apart by violence, revenge and tragedy ... Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur made the legend of King Arthur immortal. Now Peter Ackroyd's retelling brings his timeless story of love, heroism and betrayal to new life for our times. Sir Thomas Malory (c.1405-1471) was a knight and estate owner in the mid 15th century, who spent many years in prison for political crimes as well as robbery. He wrote Le Morte d'Arthur, the first great English prose epic, while imprisoned in Newgate. Peter Ackroyd (b. 1949) is an award-winning writer and historian. Formerly literary editor of The Spectator and chief book reviewer for the The Times, he is the author of novels such as Hawksmoor (1985) and The House of Doctor Dee (1993), as well as non-fiction including Dickens: Public Life and Private Passion (2002), London: The Biography (2000), and Thames: Sacred River (2007). If you enjoyed The Death of King Arthur, you might like Ackroyd's The Canterbury Tales, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I admire this version enormously ... This story has to move with both swiftness and dignity, and yoking those two qualities together is not an easy task; but Ackroyd does it with ease' Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy 'Ackroyd's lightly trimmed and streamlined Le Morte d'Arthur makes it eminently readable' Sunday Times

Venice

Venice

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2010

In this magnificent vision of Venice, Peter Ackroyd turns his unparalleled skill at evoking place from London and the River Thames, to Italy and the city of myth, mystery and beauty. He leads us through the history of the city, from the first refugees arriving in the mists of the lagoon in the fourth century to the rise of a great mercantile state and a trading empire, the wars against Napoleon and the tourist invasions of today. There are wars and sieges, scandals and seductions, fountains playing in deserted squares and crowds thronging the markets. And there is a dark undertone too, of shadowy corners and dead ends, prisons and punishment. We could have no better guide to this most exceptional of cities - reading Ackroyd's Venice is, in itself, a glorious journey and the perfect holiday.

A Brief Guide to William Shakespeare

A Brief Guide to William Shakespeare

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/03/2010

An accessible and entertaining journey through the life, times, and work of the Bard - Enigma. Master of language. The greatest comedian in history? The most famous writer in the world. But isn't he a little bit boring? This is an essential guide for anyone who has previously avoided the Bard, and is the perfect introduction for first time students or seasoned theatre lovers. The book contains a full commentary of all the plays by bestselling and reknowned writer Peter Ackroyd as well as full descriptions of the cast and the drama; not forgetting the best speeches, and the wit and wisdom from across the works. There is also an opportunity to explore the poems and a complete set of sonnets, as well as an investigation of who the dark lady might have been. Contains: The complete sonnets; the greatest speeches; the best lines. Perfect for students struggling through their first play or for theatre lovers anywhere. Entertaining, accessible, Shakespeare without the boring bits.

Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 06/10/2009

When two nineteenth-century Oxford studentsVictor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelleyform an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world's most accomplished and prolific authors. This haunting and atmospheric novel opens with a heated discussion, as Shelley challenges the conventionally religious Frankenstein to consider his atheistic notions of creation and life. Afterward, these concepts become an obsession for the young scientist. As Victor begins conducting anatomical experiments to reanimate the dead, he at first uses corpses supplied by the coroner. But these specimens prove imperfect for Victor's purposes. Moving his makeshift laboratory to a deserted pottery factory in Limehouse, he makes contact with the Doomsday menthe resurrectionistswhose grisly methods put Frankenstein in great danger as he works feverishly to bring life to the terrifying creature that will bear his name for eternity. Filled with literary lights of the day such as Bysshe Shelley, Godwin, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley herself, and penned in period-perfect prose, The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein is sure to become a classic of the twenty-first century.From the Hardcover edition.

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2009

Victor Frankenstein begins his anatomy experiments in a barn in the secluded village of Headington, near Oxford. The coroner's office provides the corpses he needs - but they have often died by violent means and are damaged and putrifying. Victor moves his coils and jars and electrical fluids to a deserted pottery manufactury in Limehouse. And, from Limehouse, makes contact with the Doomesday Men - the resurrectionists. Victor pays better than any hospital for the bodies of the very recently dead. Even so, perfect specimens are hard to come by... until that Thames-side dawn when Victor, waiting, wrapped in his greatcoat, on his wooden jetty, hears the splashing of oars and sees in the half-light that slung into the stern of the approaching boat is the corpse of a handsome young man, one hand trailing in the water....

Poe A Life Cut Short

Poe A Life Cut Short

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2009

Heralded as a genius, the forerunner of modern fantasy and credited with the invention of the psychological drama, science fiction and the detective story , Edgar Allan Poe had a life as dramatic and tragic as his art. Poe's life was dominated by dying women; his mother died of consumption when he was only two, his stepmother when he was twenty, and his wife, Virginia, died of the same disease and at the same age as his mother. As Ackroyd brilliantly shows, it was these deaths, together with his miserable childhood, that led to such dark and dazzling tales as 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and 'Berenice', although it was wiht the publication of 'The Raven' that the writer finally ahcieved the recognition of which he dreamed. Success couldn't save him from himself, however, and he was dead by the age of forty, his final days as mysterious as much of his writing. Poe was an extraordinary writer and in Peter Ackroyd, he has found his perfect biographer.

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/09/2008

It was at Oxford that I first met Bysshe. We arrived at our college on the same day; confusing to a mere foreigner, it is called University College. I had seen him from my window and had been struck by his auburn locks. The long-haired poet - 'Mad Shelley' - and the serious-minded student from Switzerland spark each other's animated interest in the new philosophy of science which is over-turning long-cherished beliefs. Perhaps there is no God. In which case, where is the divine spark, the soul? Can it be found in the human brain? the heart? the eyes? Victor Frankenstein begins his anatomy experiments in a barn in the secluded village of Headington, near Oxford. The coroner's office in Clarendon Street provides corpses - but they have often died of violence and drowning: they are damaged and putrifying. Victor moves his coils and jars and electrical fluids to a deserted pottery manufactury in Limehouse. And, from Limehouse, makes contact with the Doomesday Men - the resurrectionists. He pays better than any hospital for the bodies of the very recently dead. Even so, perfect specimens are hard to come by ... until that Thames-side dawn when Victor, waiting, wrapped in his greatcoat, on his wooden jetty, hears the splashing of oars and sees in the half-light that slung into the stern of the approaching boat is the corpse of a handsome young man, one hand trailing in the water....

Thames: Sacred River

Thames: Sacred River

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2008

Just as Peter Ackroyd's bestselling London is the biography of the city, Thames: Sacred River is the biography of the river, from sea to source. Exploring its history from prehistoric times to the present day, the reader is drawn into an extraordinary world, learning about the fishes that swim in the river and the boats that ply its surface; about floods and tides; hauntings and suicides; miasmas and malaria; locks, weirs and embankments; bridges, docks and palaces. Peter Ackroyd has a genius for digging out the most surprising and entertaining details, and for writing about them in the most magisterial prose; the result is a wonderfully readable and captivating guide to this extraordinary river and the towns and villages which line it.

Jack The Ripper and the East End Introduction by Peter Ackroyd

Jack The Ripper and the East End Introduction by Peter Ackroyd

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/04/2008

In 1888, Whitechapel - at the heart of the inner East End - was the most (in)famous place in the country, widely imagined as a site of the blackest and deepest horror. Its streets and alleys were seen as violent and dangerous, overflowing with poverty and depravity. This book aims to uncover the reality of East End life. Sections look at slum housing, immigration, attitudes to women, poverty, violence and crime. The book examines how the brutal killings were reported and how the police tried to identify the murderer. A final section shows how Jack the Ripper has shaped our vision of London, and influenced our popular culture. Jack the Ripper and the East End coincides with an exhibition organised by the Museum of London at their Museum in Docklands. Key surviving documents from the National Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives will be on display - in addition to material from the collections of the Museum of London such as photographs of the Whitechapel Mission. The illustrations for the book will include rare and unpublished photographs, sections of the 'master' Booth Map of Poverty, detectives' reports and original letters. The introduction will be written by Peter Ackroyd, who is the acknowledged expert on London, its darker aspects and how its history has seeped into its very stones. Leading historians and curators will provide additional insights. This is a book which will be valued for years to come for its enduring and important portrait of the Victorian East End.

The Thames Box Set

The Thames Box Set

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 06/09/2007

The Thames has been a highway, a frontier and an attack route; it has been a playground and a sewer, a source of water and a source of power. Every stretch has its own character, atmosphere and stories. Idealised images of English life - thatched cottages, village greens and hedged fields - were born from the landscape of the Thames. Thames: Sacred River explores the river from source to sea - from flora and fauna, hauntings and suicides to paintings and photographs it has inspired. Peter Ackroyd, bestselling author of London: The Biography, tells the story of the river and the people who have lived on and by it over the centuries, uncovering fascinating and sometimes surprising facts and details as he delves into the river's geology, history, trade, weather and architecture as well as its people, literature, landscapes, mythology and magic.

The Fall Of Troy

The Fall Of Troy

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2007

Sophia Chrysanthis is initially dazzled when the celebrated German archaeologist, Herr Obermann, comes in search of a Greek bride who can read the works of Homer and assist in his excavations of the city he believes is Ancient Troy. But Obermann's past turns out to be full of skeletons and when a young American arrives to question the archeologist's methods and dies of a mysterious fever, Sophia wonders just how far he will go to protect his vision of Troy. Soon a second, British archeologist arrives, only to fall in love with Sophia, and as their relationship begins to parallel their Ancient Greek counterparts events move towards a gripping and terrible conclusion.

Brief Lives 3 - Newton

Brief Lives 3 - Newton

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/05/2007

Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the English genius, made his greatest contributions to original thought before the age of twenty-five, while at home in Lincolnshire escaping the great plague of 1665, a period of which he wrote: 'I was in the prime of age for invention.' Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, an MP, Master of the Mind and President of the Royal Society, Newton, the author of Principia, one of the most important books in the history of science, was fascinated by calculus, the planets and the 'laws of motion', and, in keeping with his age, blurred the borders between natural philosophy and speculation: he was as passionate about astrology as astronomy and dabbled in alchemy, while his religious faith was never undermined by his scientific reasoning. Peter Ackroyd brings this somewhat puritanical man to life and demonstrates the unique brilliance of his perceptions, which changed our world forever.

Life of Thomas More

Life of Thomas More

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/2007

This book, as much a work of history as a biography, is a masterful reconstruction of the life and imagination of one of the most remarkable figures in history. Thomas More (1478-1535) was a renowned statesman; the author of a political treatise, Utopia, that gave a political worldview; and, most famously, a Catholic martyr and saint. Born into the professional classes, Thomas More applied his formidable intellect and well-placed connections to become the most powerful man in England, second only to the king. In reconstructing the life of Thomas More, Peter Ackroyd provides an unmatched portrait of the everyday, religious, and intellectual life of the early sixteenth century. More emerges in the fullness of his complex humanity, with unexpected characteristics-such as his preference for bawdy humor-and indisputable moral courage.

Shakespeare The Biography

Shakespeare The Biography

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2006

Peter Ackroyd's marvellous biography is a living attempt to reach into the heart of Shakespeare.He creates an intimate and immediate connection with his subject, so that the book reads like the work of a contemporary - meeting Shakespeare afresh on his own ground.Written with intuition and imagination unique to Peter Ackroyd, this is a book by a writer about a writer, and a fascinating and detailed depiction of the world Shakespeare inhabited.

Shakespeare

Shakespeare

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 27/06/2006

This is the big one from Peter Ackroyd and a worthy companion to London: The Biography.Only Peter Ackroyd can combine readable narrative and unique observation with a sharp eye for the fascinating fact. His method is to position Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, he not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeares life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background.Some snippets: Shakespeare was secretly a Roman Catholic; the witches in Macbeth were not hags but nymphs played by boys; the best bed was for guests which was why he bequeathed his wife his second best bed (the matrimonial bed in which he probably died); ham acting derives from the strutting walk which showed off the ham-strings; an actor called Will played female parts could it have been Shakespeare himself? And, the strongest bond in the plays is between father and daughter, perhaps reflecting Shakespeares own family life.From the Hardcover edition.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 15/09/2005

VOL. 1: ASPIRING SPIRIT.From Stratford to London.(Birth, 1564 - c.1590)Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol II

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol II

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 15/09/2005

VOL. 2: THE UPSTART CROW.Ambitious Actor and Poet.(c. 1590 - Midsummer Night's Dream)Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 15/09/2005

VOL. 3: A MUSE OF FIRE.Successful Playwright and Businessman.(c. 1595 - Opening of The Globe)Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: eBook Release Date: 15/09/2005

VOL. 4: THE ONLIE BEGETTER.Literary Stardom and Royal Patronage.(c. 1601 - death, 1616)Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV The Onlie Begetter

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol IV The Onlie Begetter

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/09/2005

VOL. 4: THE ONLIE BEGETTER. Literary Stardom and Royal Patronage. (c. 1601 - death, 1616) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I Aspiring Spirit

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol I Aspiring Spirit

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/09/2005

VOL. 1: ASPIRING SPIRIT. From Stratford to London. (Birth, 1564 - c.1590) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III A Muse of Fire

Shakespeare - The Biography: Vol III A Muse of Fire

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/09/2005

VOL. 3: A MUSE OF FIRE. Successful Playwright and Businessman. (c. 1595 - Opening of The Globe) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet Shakespeare the family man, whose private life had such an impact on his work that the strongest bond in his plays is always between father and daughter.

Chaucer Brief Lives

Chaucer Brief Lives

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2005

Geoffrey Chaucer has some claim to being the greatest poet in the English language. Yet he has also been considered to be an invisible poet, self-depreciating and ironic, leaving only the breath of his comedy behind. In truth a great deal is known of him. He was a royal servant, who was indicted for rape. He was captured in battle and held for ransom. He knew at first hand the most powerful people in the country and, as the king's servant; he was concerned with the most pressing events of the realm. Yet even in this crowded life he found time and opportunity to write some of the finest poems in the language. Troilus and Criseyde is the first modern work of English literature. His genius was prolific and diverse and, while he was a true London artist, he was also part of the European renaissance of learning. The Canterbury Tales is an epic of Englishness itself, presided over by the genial and generous figure of Geoffrey Chaucer.

Turner

Turner

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2005

James Mallord William Turner was a Londoner through and through. His father had a barber's shop in Covent Garden, his mother came from a line of London butchers. He was brought up in Maiden Lane (the family moving at some point from the south side of the street to the north side). He was short and pugnacious, and as Peter Ackroyd writes: 'His speech was recognizably that of a Cockney, and his language was the language of the streets.' His language was also the language of light, as exemplified in his most innovative paintings, which caused the critics of the day to come to blows.. His dying words were: 'The Sun is God.' He entered the Royal Academy at 14 and a year later was exhibiting. His first loves were architecture, engraving and watercolours, and the country houses, cathedrals and landscape of England; he came to oils through his new passion for Italy. He was mean with money, never married, and spent a lot of his life living in taverns. When he died (within sight of his beloved Thames) he was living under the name of Booth in the Chelsea lodgings of one of his mistresses, a Mrs Booth

Albion The Origins of the English Imagination

Albion The Origins of the English Imagination

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2004

Highly original and magnificent in scope, Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination 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 Witty, provocative and anecdotal, this is Peter Ackroyd at his most brilliant and exuberant.

Clerkenwell Tales

Clerkenwell Tales

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2004

The scene is London, in 1399. It is the last year of the fourteenth century, and there is talk of an apocalypse. Richard II is on the throne, yet strange signs and portents are troubling the latter part of his reign. By the side of the River Fleet in Clerkenwell the people are restless, disenchanted with the church and their King. The streets of London are rife with rumour, heresy, espionage and murder and at the centre of the confusion is the nun, Sister Clarice, who has been vouchsafed visions of the future. Is she a genuine prophet, or the tool of earthly powers? This is a story of adventure and suspense set in the late medieval world. As in many of Peter Ackroyd's novels the distant past is no longer a foreign country but something alarmingly close and authentic. As one critic has put it, 'he is our age's greatest London imagination'.

Illustrated London

Illustrated London

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2003

Lavish, large format picture book about London, with Peter Ackroyd's inimitable text (taken from London: A Biography), new pictures and new captions. Divided into four parts: 1) In the beginning Roman and Medieval London, ending with the Black Death; 2) Red Contrasts the Great Fire of 1666 with the Blitz of 1944, and tells the story of both in gripping narrative; 3) Motley Theatrical London, including street fairs, street theatre, London as mob and crowd etc; 4) Black The industrial revolution, the London poor and homeless, London as centre of empire (including emigration), London prisons, huge expansion of the metropolis (including the London suburbs).

The Collection

The Collection

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2002

During the 1970s and the early 1980s Peter Ackroyd wrote countless book reviews and articles for the Spectator , on literature, film and a number of social and cultural issues. The Collection offers a selection of these incisive and entertaining pieces, which established Ackroyd's reputation as a writer. Since 1986, Ackroyd has been chief book reviewer for The Times , and in this capacity he has reviewed some of the most important biographies and novels published over the last fifteen years. A selection of his Time reviews are included here. These reviews, and his articles for the Sunday Times display his characteristic attitudes to literature and art. They also throw interesting lights on his won work as a prize winning novelist and biographer. The Collection also contains a number of Ackroyd's interesting and provocative lectures on The Englishness of English literature, London Luminaries and Cockney Visionaries and William Black, a Spiritual Radical. In addition, several essays on subjects such as Ackroyd's own writing and contemporary painters such as Frank Auerbach have been included. Finally, three of Ackroyd's short stories have been reproduced, one of which was his first published work of fiction. The Collection is a revealing and fascinating anthology of Ackroyd's ideas and preoccupations. As such, it is the ideal companion volume to his novels and biographies. With the exception of five pieces, none of the writing contained in this volume has ever been collected: The Collection also contains much previously unpublished material.

Dickens Abridged

Dickens Abridged

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2002

Dickens was a landmark biography when first published in 1990. This specially edited shorter edition takes the reader into the life of one of the world's greatest writers. Here, Ackroyd attempts to peel away the mask of a man whose life was outwardly a picture of Victorian rectitude, but whose love life was as complicated (and unconventional) as any modern writer's. Dickens had everything - fame, success and riches - but he died harbouring a deep sadness he had experienced all his life. He was a man of mercurial character, had enormous vitality and humour, but he also had a sense of loss and longing that would constantly appear in his work. Like many eminent Victorians, he led a double life: although he insisted that nothing in the newspapers he edited should upset his middle-class readers, he regularly indulged in dubious night-time escapades with fellow author Wilkie Collins, and, for the last 13 years of his life, kept a secret mistress.

The Collection

The Collection

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/11/2001

During the 1970s and the early 1980s Peter Ackroyd wrote countless book reviews and articles for the Spectator, on literature, film and a number of social and cultural issues. The Collection offers a selection of these incisive and entertaining pieces which established Ackroyd's reputation as a writer.Since 1986 Ackroyd has been chief book reviewer for The Times, and in this capacity he has reviewed some of the most important biographies and novels published over the last fifteen years. A selection of his Times reviews are included here. These reviews, and his articles for the Sunday Times, display his characteristic attitudes to literature and art. They also throw interesting lights on his own work as a prize-winning novelist and biographer. The Collection also contains a number of Ackroyd's interesting and provocative lectures on 'The Englishness of English literature', 'London Luminaries and Cockney Visionaries', 'William Blake' and 'The Nature of Time'. In addition, several essays on subjects such as the art of biography, contemporary painters such as Frank Auerbach and Ackroyd's own writing have been included. Finally, three of Ackroyd's short stories have been reproduced, one of which was his first published work of fiction.

London The Biography

London The Biography

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2001

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.'

The Plato Papers

The Plato Papers

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/03/2000

On ritual occasions Plato, the orator, summons the citizens of London to impart the ancient history of their city, dwelling particularly on the unhappy era of Mouldwarp (AD 1500-2300). He lectures on The Origin of Species by the nineteenth-century novelist Charles Dickens and on Sigmund Freud; whilst providing a glossary of twentieth century terms, and explaining such early myths of creation as 'super-string theory' and 'relativity'. But then he has a dream, or vision, or he goes on a real journey - opinions are divided - and enters a vast underground cavern, where citizens of Mouldwarp London still live. On his return, Plato shares his stories of this lost world, but his words spread consternation among his fellow citizens and they quickly put him on trial for corrupting the youth with his lies and fables.

The Book of the Prophet Isaiah

The Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/10/1999

This is the text of the book of Isaiah, the first and foremost of the 17 'prophetic' books of the Old Testament. Contrasting with images of wrath and destruction are visions of an age of peace and harmony. The biblical text is introduced by Peter Ackroyd.

Life Of Thomas More Book Club Edition

Life Of Thomas More Book Club Edition

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/03/1999

Thomas More is one of the great figures in English history. Pre-eminent as a courtier and as a humanist, a friend to Henry VIII and the author of Utopia, More's life and career epitomise the great transformation of England in the space of 35 years. Ackroyd investigates the paradox of this 'man for all seasons': the man of the world who travelled across Europe to negotiate on behalf of his king, and the unworldly man who's careful silence on the matter of Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn would lead to his disgrace and execution. A magnificent achievement, The Life of Thomas More gives us a rich portrait of the man and the social and cultural world in which he lived.

Milton In America

Milton In America

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/09/1997

What if John Milton, Cromwell's secretary, anticipating the King's return to London, had decided to flee England in order to avoid imprisonment or death? What if he had crossed the ocean and joined the Puritans recently settled in New England? From this idea Peter Ackroyd creates an enthralling story of conflict, treachery, hypocrisy and greed.

Chatterton

Chatterton

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/09/1996

Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), apparently a suicide at 18, posthumously astonished literary England when he was revealed as the author of a sequence of famous and influential medieval poems he claimed to have discovered. An authentic talent as well as a literary counterfeiter, he is the guiding spirit of Peter Ackroyd's brilliant novel. In today's London, a young poet and an elderly novelist engage the mystery of Chatterton by trying to decode the clues found in an old manuscript, only to discover that their investigation discloses other riddles for which there are no solutions. Chatterton is at once a hilariously witty comedy; a thoughtful and dramatic exploration of the deepest issues of authenticity in both life and art; and a subtle and touching story of failed lives, parental love, doomed marriages, and erotic passions.

First Light

First Light

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/09/1996

First Light begins with an ominous coincidence: the reappearance of the ancient night sky during the excavation of an astronomically aligned Neolithic grave in Dorset. A group of eccentrics archaeologists, astronomers, local rustics, a civil servant, and a stand-up comic converge on the site, disturbing the quiet seclusion of Pilgrin Valley. Someone (or something) is trying to sabotage the best efforts of the excavators, headed by Mark Clare, to unearth the dormant secrets of the burial ground. Meanwhile, at the nearby observatory, astronomer Damien Fall, his telescope focused on the red star Aldebaran, is unnerved by the deeper significance he imputes to the celestial sophistication of the region's ancient inhabitants. And Joey Hanover, a retired music hall and TV entertainer searching for his own past, has learned secrets from Farmer Mint and his son, Boy, the weirdly cryptic guardians of their ancestral home in the valley. All is masterfully woven into an immensely engaging and entertaining novel, a suspenseful reflection on life, nature, and the cosmos, and above all an illuminating and enchanting story.

Blake

Blake

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/1996

Poet, painter, engraver and visionary, Blake's was a radical spirit fired by genius. Yet his life has remained an enigma. In this magnificent biography Peter Ackroyd discloses the true nature of William Blake's life and art.

Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem

Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/06/1995

NOW AN UNMISSABLE FILM STARRING BILL NIGHY, DOUGLAS BOOTH AND OLIVIA COOKE. `Mesmerising, macabre and totally brilliant' Daily Mail Before the Ripper, fear had another name. London, 1880. A series of gruesome murders attributed to the mysterious 'Limehouse Golem' strikes fear into the heart of the capital. Inspector John Kildare must track down this brutal serial killer in the damp, dark alleyways of riverside London. But how does Dan Leno, music hall star extraordinaire, find himself implicated in this crime spree, and what does Elizabeth Cree, on trial for the murder of her husband, have to hide? Peter Ackroyd brings Victorian London to life in all its guts and glory, as we travel from the glamour of the music hall to the slums of the East End, meeting George Gissing and Karl Marx along the way.

Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/1993

'There is no Light without Darknesse and no Substance without Shaddowe' So proclaims Nicholas Dyer, assistant to Sir Christopher Wren and the man with a commission to build seven London churches to stand as beacons of the enlightenment. But Dyer plans to conceal a dark secret at the heart of each church - to create a forbidding architecture that will survive for eternity. Two hundred and fifty years later, London detective Nicholas Hawksmoor is investigating a series of gruesome murders on the sites of certain eighteenth-century churches - crimes that make no sense to the modern mind . . . 'Chillingly brilliant . . . sinister and stunningly well executed' Independent on Sunday Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. A novelist, biographer and historian, he has been the literary editor of The Spectator and chief book reviewer for the The Times, as well as writing several highly acclaimed books including a biography of Dickens and London: The Biography. He lives in London.

Dickens

Dickens

Author: Peter Ackroyd Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/1991

This comprehensive biography of the great 19th-century novelist combines extensive research and documentation, including much new speculation on the nature of his affair with Ellen Ternan, with imaginative reconstruction of the writer's thoughts.

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