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London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

London: The Biography (2000)

by Peter Ackroyd

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2,298372,766 (3.96)153

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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Excellent history of an interesting city ( )
  TheGoldyns | Sep 16, 2015 |
A rather good book if you are just looking for a "good read", but quite difficult to sift through if you want something to actually look for hard facts about London in. ( )
  PetterKringberg | Sep 5, 2015 |
I have no words for this book - it's just amazing. I've read it three times now, once before I moved to London as a student, once just because and once before I moved to London permanently, and I will read it again. For a 800 page book thats pretty impressive.

Ackroyd personifies London. Its not just this city with some nice buildings and history, its a living breathing thing. I feel it so much more every day that I commute into the city because of this book.

Ackroyd splits up the massive history of London into easy to read and facinating tidbits. Its a book that you could read in small pieces - if the sheer weight of it is too much. I find that I mean to read just a bit and end up half way through the book before I know it.

If your a lover of London read this book - there are no excuses. ( )
  sscarllet | Nov 20, 2014 |
I can't believe I finally finished this, about 2 years in the reading, I think. I lost track of the many times I started it. It was interesting and easy to dip into but did get very scattered at points and tended to repeat itself. I think he needed an editor with a firmer hand, it was worth reading but perhaps not for 760 pages (and I skipped the Essays on the Sources.) I also found some of his conclusions a bit far reaching and the part about Modern London strained credulity. But I enjoyed it and it didn't suffer from the years of reading approach. However, I am glad to place it back on the shelf and move on.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Very engaging read. I love walking London, and this introduced me to some places unfamiliar to me. The stories he told were fascinating, and made old things come alive again with depth and interest. Good book. Well written. Informative. Definitely worth re-reading, too. ( )
  Crotchetymama | Feb 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
London is what was meant to be, secured across the centuries in a multiplicity of races, ways and tongues. You could not re-create it; you cannot destroy it. This London is our London, and if you want to know it better, to see it with eyes wide open, then Ackroyd is your indispensable companion.
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For Iain Johnston and Frederick Nicholas Robertson
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If you were to touch the plinth upon which the equestrian statue of King Charles I is placed, at Charing Cross, your fingers might rest upon the projecting fossils of sea lilies, starfish, or sea urchins.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385497717, Paperback)

Here are two thousand years of London’s history and folklore, its chroniclers and criminals and plain citizens, its food and drink and countless pleasures. Blackfriar’s and Charing Cross, Paddington and Bedlam. Westminster Abbey and St. Martin in the Fields. Cockneys and vagrants. Immigrants, peasants, and punks. The Plague, the Great Fire, the Blitz. London at all times of day and night, and in all kinds of weather. In well-chosen anecdotes, keen observations, and the words of hundreds of its citizens and visitors, Ackroyd reveals the ingenuity and grit and vitality of London. Through a unique thematic tour of the physical city and its inimitable soul, the city comes alive.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A chronicle of the city from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century discusses its ability to grow and change, and describes stories of London's wealthy streets and impoverished alleys.

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