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London: A Biography by Peter Ackroyd

London: A Biography (original 2000; edition 2003)

by Peter Ackroyd

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2,484432,459 (3.97)158
Title:London: A Biography
Authors:Peter Ackroyd
Info:Anchor (2003), Paperback, 848 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading

Work details

London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd (2000)

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    John_Vaughan: Knowing and loving London means you have to know the Thames. Peter Ackroyd lovingly describes both with a deep knowledge of history.
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» See also 158 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Very entertaining & informative account of the foremost city in Europe if not the world. ( )
  tommi180744 | Sep 22, 2017 |
What a book. Ackroyd has created the ultimate portrait of London as a living, breathing entity, not just a collection of old buildings and monuments. Rather than a dry chronological trawl through the history of our nation's capital, instead Ackroyd chooses themes and explores them through time and space, focussing on specific areas or ideas. Thus he paints a picture of an ever evolving city that defies all attempts to change or control it. London is its own master.

Ackroyd ranges back and forth through time in pursuit of his themes and as a consequence throws up facts that are never less than interesting, frequently fascinating. All the while he slowly moves us through London's development through the centuries, and my only quibble would be that he skips through the 20th century rather too quickly. But considering the book is 800 pages long and he had a heart attack after finishing it, I'll forgive him that.

If you are looking for a dry history book, look elsewhere. If you are in search of a book about London that is full of ideas and facts backed up by a wealth of research then London: The Biography is for you. Not to everyone's taste, but I found it a great read.
( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
Technical Library - shelved at: B12:42 London
  HB-Library-159 | Oct 19, 2016 |
One of the best books I've read in years. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Excellent history of an interesting city ( )
  TheGoldyns | Sep 16, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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