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The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd
  

The Lambs of London

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Based quite heavily on fact but equally using large dollops of artistic licence with the lives of Mary and Charles Lamb and the clever schemer William Ireland, this dark tale, set in nineteenth century London is, in my mind, one of Ackroyd’s most accessible and enjoyable. It’s back in his wonderful Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem ilk but without the murders. I loved it.

Comparison: Julian Barnes, Barry Unsworth, Robert Edric.
Similar this month: None but try Bernard Schlink for his writing.

If you like Peter Ackroyd you might also like to read books by Robert Edric, Barry Unsworth and Iain Pears.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd

At the centre of this intriguing, irresistible novel are the young Lambs: Charles, constrained by the tedium of his work as a clerk at the East India Company, taking refuge in a drink or three too many while spreading his wings as a young writer, and his clever, adoring sister Mary, confined by domesticity, an ailing, dotty father and a maddening mother- Into their lives comes William Ireland, an ambitious 17-year-old antiquarian and bookseller, anxious not only to impress his demanding showman of a father, but to make his mark on the literary world.

When Ireland turns up a document in the handwriting of Shakespeare himself, he takes Mary into his confidence - but soon scholars and actors alike are beating a path to the little bookshop in Holborn Passage. Touching and tragic, ingenious, funny and vividly alive, this is Ackroyd at the top of his form in a masterly retelling of a nineteenth-century drama which keeps the reader guessing right to the end.


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Reviews

As always, Ackroyd brings the bustle, stench and hazards of nineteenth-century London vividly to life and keeps readers on their toes until the final page * Daily Mail * A marvellously adroit tale -- Penelope Lively * Independent * Energetic and clever... The Lambs of London ingeniously combines two fact-based narratives and transforms them into a detective-cum-love story * Daily Telegraph * Historically animated and emotionally fervent. Ackroyd turns the past into a private phantasmagoria of loving fakes and pungent terrors * Observer * Clever, subtle and touching, often funny and always highly intelligent. A modern novel that requires a second reading - one which will be even more enjoyable and rewarding than the first * Scotsman *


About the Author

Peter Ackroyd

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th August 2005

Author

Peter Ackroyd

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Publisher

Vintage

Format

Paperback (b Format)
224 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Historical fiction

ISBN

9780099472094

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