Peter Ackroyd
English author
Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd CBE is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others, Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot and Sir Thomas More he won the Somerset Maugham Award and two Whitbread Awards. He was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.
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Best Films Books Of 2016
Huffington Post - 3 months
It’s been a surprisingly good year for film books. Whether you are into biographies, film history, pictorials, “making of” books, or critical studies, there was something for just about everyone. This year’s list may top last year’s, which was also bountiful. As a matter of fact, there were so many worthwhile books in 2016 that I was forced to split this article into two pieces. In the coming days, I will post another article with just as many recommendations, if not more. A House Divided With Newt Gingrich’s call for a new House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), there may be no relevant book than Hollywood Divided: The 1950 Screen Directors Guild Meeting and the Impact of the Blacklist (University Press of Kentucky) by Kevin Brianton. This new title centers on a now legendary meeting held by the Screen Directors Guild in 1950 (at the height of the anti-communist “Red Scare”) to consider the adoption of an industry loyalty oath. Among those present at the meeti ...
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Huffington Post article
Michael_Slater: The Scandal That Nearly Ruined Charles Dickens
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Charles Dickens was the most popular and best-loved novelist of Victorian Britain. He rejoiced in what he called 'that special relationship, personally affectionate and like no other man's' that he shared with his hundreds of thousands of readers. Central to this popularity was his celebration of the joys of hearth and home as in the famous scene of the Cratchit family's Christmas dinner A Christmas Carol (1843). Many readers also believed that the radiantly happy domestic ending of David Copperfield (1849) reflected Dickens's own personal situation. In 1858 a great sensation was therefore caused, on both sides of the Atlantic, when it transpired that Dickens was separating from his wife after 20 years of marriage and fathering 10 children by her. Rumors spread that he was having an affair with a young actress called Ellen Ternan who had been performing with his amateur company or, far worse, that he had a relationship with his wife's resident younger sister who chose t ...
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Huffington Post article
There would be blood
Ft.com Financial Times Blogs - over 4 years
‘Tudors’, Peter Ackroyd’s second installment of a projected six-volume history of England, is both celebration and lament, writes John Cornwell
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Ft.com Financial Times Blogs article
Ben Arogundade: Is Othello Really Black?
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
William Shakespeare's character Othello is generally regarded as a black African. But is this true? Could he have been an Arab or a Spanish Moor? With the World Shakespeare Festival just beginning in London, a myriad of interpretations of the Bard's work will be on show, including my book, The Shakespeare Mashup. One aspect still being debated amongst some Shakespeareans is that of the ethnicity of Shakespeare's Othello. The answer may seem obvious, but is it? The differences of opinion center around exactly what the Bard intended by his use of the term "Moor" in describing his character's ethnicity. The word is believed to have originated from the Greek term mauros, which means black. It was first used to describe the natives of Mauretania -- the region of North Africa which today corresponds to Morocco and Algeria. It was later applied to people of Berber and Arab origin, who conquered and ruled the Iberian Peninsula -- the area now known as Spain and Portugal -- for near ...
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Huffington Post article
Book Review: London Under - The Secret History Beneath the Streets - By Peter Ackroyd - Book Review
NYTimes - over 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-218505" href="/peter+ackroyd">Peter Ackroyd</a> provides a tour of the hidden realms below London.
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NYTimes article
London Under - The Secret History Beneath the Streets - By Peter Ackroyd - Book Review
NYTimes - over 5 years
<a class="fplink fp-218505" href="/peter+ackroyd">Peter Ackroyd</a> provides a tour of the hidden realms below London.
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NYTimes article
Book Grocer: 1-6 September + Win Tickets To Peter Ackroyd @ Southbank Centre - Londonist
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Ackroyd, whose London: The Biography is perhaps the definitive work on our fair city&#39;s history, is starting on a massively ambitious six volume history of England. The first volume, Foundation (up to the death of Henry VII), is out tomorrow and
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Google News article
The Sunday Papers with … Dreda Say Mitchell - The Guardian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Sunday Mirror reports that the son of a former police boss has been arrested on suspicion of looting while the Sunday Express has a very interesting interview with historian Peter Ackroyd. He gives some historical context to the recent disorder and
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Google News article
Peter Ackroyd: 'I just want to tell a story' - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Ackroyd: &#39;It sometimes seems to me that the whole course of English history was one of accident and chance.&#39; Photograph: Jason Alden/Rex Features For anyone struggling to summon the self-discipline and due diligence to write even one book,
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Google News article
Peter Ackroyd: 'Rioting has been a london tradition for centuries' - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London, particularly its seamy, violent underside. In an age when historians and novelists are encouraged to be pundits and personalities, you would think he would be in demand after recent troubles
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Google News article
To be rendered into Persian - Iran Book News Agency
Google News - over 5 years
IBNA: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is a literary reference book compiled by over one hundred literary critics worldwide and edited by Peter Boxall, Professor of English at Sussex University, with an introduction by Peter Ackroyd
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Google News article
Hermanos españoles - Qué.es
Google News - over 5 years
Hay que agradecer a Hitler que despachara su &#39;Mein Kampf&#39; en 400. Tomo a ojo un libro gordo de la estantería: &#39;Londres. Una biografía&#39;, de Peter Ackroyd. Contando el índice onomástico, son 1.007 páginas. El fanático noruego tiene la mano larga para
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Google News article
Comic-Con '11: John Cusack Says 'The Raven' 'An Art Movie And A Popcorn Movie ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Cusack and McTeigue researched Poe in depth, reading his letters and finding inspiration in Peter Ackroyd&#39;s book “Poe: A Life Cut Short.” The film obviously takes liberties with his life, but the movie promises to be somewhat impressionistic with
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Google News article
Pourquoi tant d'écrivains prennent un pseudonyme ? - Les Inrocks
Google News - over 5 years
Au cours des deux siècles suivants, sa mort inspirera peintres, poètes et musiciens - d&#39;un portrait préraphaélite d&#39;Henry Wallis à un roman de Peter Ackroyd et d&#39;un drame romantique d&#39;Alfred de Vigny à un tube sixties de Serge Gainsbourg,
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Ackroyd
    FIFTIES
  • 2004
    Age 54
    In a 2004 interview Ackroyd said that he had not been in a relationship since Kuhn's death and was "very happy being celibate."
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  • FORTIES
  • 1999
    Age 49
    In 1999 he suffered a heart attack and was placed in a medically induced coma for a week.
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  • 1994
    Age 44
    However, Kuhn was then diagnosed with AIDS, dying in 1994, and Ackroyd moved back to London.
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    In 1994 he was interviewed about the London Psychogeographical Association in an article for The Observer, in which he remarked: I truly believe that there are certain people to whom or through whom the territory, the place, the past speaks....
    More Details Hide Details Just as it seems possible to me that a street or dwelling can materially affect the character and behaviour of the people who dwell in them, is it not also possible that within this city (London) and within its culture are patterns of sensibility or patterns of response which have persisted from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and perhaps even beyond? In the sequence London: The Biography (2000), Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination (2002), and Thames: Sacred River (2007), Ackroyd has produced works of what he considers historical sociology. These books trace themes in London and English culture from the ancient past to the present, drawing again on his favoured notion of almost spiritual lines of connection rooted in place and stretching across time. His fascination with London literary and artistic figures is also displayed in the sequence of biographies he has produced of Ezra Pound (1980), T. S. Eliot (1984), Charles Dickens (1990), William Blake (1995), Thomas More (1998), Geoffrey Chaucer (2004), William Shakespeare (2005), and J. M. W. Turner. The city itself stands astride all these works, as it does in the fiction. Ackroyd was forced to think of new methods of biography writing in T. S. Eliot when he was told he couldn't quote extensively from Eliot's poetry and unpublished letters.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1989
    Age 39
    In an interview with Patrick McGrath in 1989, Ackroyd said:
    More Details Hide Details I enjoy it, I suppose, but I never thought I’d be a novelist. I never wanted to be a novelist. I can’t bear fiction. I hate it. It’s so untidy. When I was a young man I wanted to be a poet, then I wrote a critical book, and I don’t think I even read a novel till I was about 26 or 27. In his novels he often contrasts historical segments with segments set in the present-day (e.g. The Great Fire of London, Hawksmoor, The House of Doctor Dee). Many of Ackroyd's novels play in London and deal with the ever changing, but at the same time stubbornly consistent nature of the city. Often this theme is explored through the city's artists, especially its writers: Oscar Wilde in The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), a fake autobiography of Wilde; Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir Christopher Wren and Sir John Vanbrugh in Hawksmoor (1985); Thomas Chatterton and George Meredith in Chatterton (1987); John Dee in The House of Dr Dee (1993); Dan Leno, Karl Marx, George Gissing and Thomas De Quincey in Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994); John Milton in Milton in America (1996); Charles Lamb in The Lambs of London.
  • 1984
    Age 34
    He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984 and appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2003.
    More Details Hide Details Ackroyd was born in London and raised on a council estate in East Acton by his single mother in a "strict" Roman Catholic household. He first knew that he was gay when he was seven. He was educated at St. Benedict's, Ealing, and at Clare College, Cambridge, from which he graduated with a double first in English literature.
  • 1982
    Age 32
    In 1982 he published The Great Fire of London, his first novel, which is a reworking of Charles Dickens' novel Little Dorrit.
    More Details Hide Details The novel set the stage for the long sequence of novels Ackroyd has produced since, all of which deal in some way with the complex interaction of time and space and what Ackroyd calls "the spirit of place". However, this transition to being a novelist was unexpected.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1973
    Age 23
    He worked at The Spectator magazine between 1973 and 1977 and became joint managing editor in 1978, a position he held until 1982.
    More Details Hide Details He worked as chief book reviewer for The Times and was a frequent broadcaster on radio. Since 1984 he has been a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His literary career began with poetry, including such works as London Lickpenny (1973) and The Diversions of Purley (1987).
  • 1972
    Age 22
    In 1972, he was a Mellon fellow at Yale University.
    More Details Hide Details The result of his Yale fellowship was Notes for a New Culture, written when Ackroyd was only 22 and eventually published in 1976. The title, an echo of T. S. Eliot's Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948), was an early indication of Ackroyd's penchant for exploring and re-examining the works of other London-based writers.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1949
    Born
    Born on October 5, 1949.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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