Peter Ackroyd

Infobox Writer

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name = Peter Ackroyd
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birthdate = birth date and age|1949|10|5|df=y
birthplace = East Acton, London, England
deathdate =
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occupation = Author
nationality = British
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Peter Ackroyd (born 5 October 1949, East Acton, London) is an English author.

Ackroyd has always shown a great interest in the city of London, and one of his best known works, "London: The Biography", is an extensive and thorough discussion of London through the ages. In 1994 he was interviewed about the London Psychogeographical Association in an article for "The Observer" where he remarked:

:"I truly believe that there are certain people to whom or through whom the territory, the place, the past speaks . . . 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?" 'Cultists' Go Round in Circles', Barry Hugill, "The Observer", Sunday, 28 August 1994 [ 'Cultists' Go Round in Circles', Barry Hugill, "The Observer" Sunday 28 August 1994]


Ackroyd's mother worked in the personnel department of an engineering firm, and his father left the family home when Peter Ackroyd was a baby. He was reading newspapers at the age of 5 and wrote a play about Guy Fawkes, aged nine. He also reputedly first realised he was gay at the age of 7. [ [,6000,1562487,00.html Guardian Unlimited story on Peter Ackroyd] , Retrieved January 2006]

Ackroyd was educated at St. Benedict's, Ealing and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a double first in English and was a Mellon Fellow at Yale University, in the United States.

His career started in poetry, including works such as "London Lickpenny" (1973) and "The Diversions of Purley" (1987). He later moved into fiction and has become an acclaimed author, winning the 1998 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the biography "Thomas More" and being shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987.

Ackroyd worked at "The Spectator" magazine between 1973 and 1977 and became joint managing editor in 1978. He was nominated a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984 and is currently a regular radio broadcaster and book critic.

More recently, he has written "London: The Biography" (2000), and followed this with the most scholarly yet of his popular books, "Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination" (2002), a work of intellectual history that traces themes in English culture from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present.

In the New Year's honours list of 2003, Ackroyd was given a CBE [ [] "The Guardian" 31 December 2002]

From 2003 to 2005, Ackroyd wrote a six-book non-fiction series ("Voyages Through Time"), intended for readers as young as eight. This was his first work for children. The critically acclaimed series ("Not just sound-bite snacks for short attention spans, but unfolding feasts that leave you with a sense of wonder", "The Sunday Times" [ [] "The Sunday Times" September 28, 2003] ) is an extensive narrative of key periods in world history.



*"The Great Fire of London" – 1982
*"The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde" – 1983
*"Hawksmoor" – 1985
*"Chatterton" – 1987 (shortlisted for the Booker Prize, 1987)
*"First Light" – 1989
*"English Music" – 1992
*"The House of Doctor Dee" – 1993
*"Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem" – 1994 (also published as "The Trial of Elizabeth Cree")
*"Milton in America" – 1996
*"The Plato Papers" – 1999
*"The Clerkenwell Tales" – 2003
*"The Lambs of London" – 2004
*"The Fall of Troy" – 2006
*"The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein" – 2008

Adult Non-fiction

*"Notes for a New Culture: An Essay on Modernism" – 1976
*"Dressing Up: Transvestism and Drag: The History of an Obsession" – 1979
*"T. S. Eliot: A Life" – 1984
*"Dickens' London: An Imaginative Vision" – 1987
*"The Life of Thomas More" – 1988
*"Ezra Pound and his World" – 1989 ISBN 0500130698
*"Dickens" – 1990
*"An Introduction to Dickens" – 1991
*"Blake" – 1996
*"London: The Biography" – 2000
*"Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination" – 2002
*"Chaucer" (first in planned series of "Ackroyd's Brief Lives") – 2005
*"Shakespeare: The Biography" – 2005
*"Turner" (second book in the 'Brief Lives' series) – 2006
*"Newton" (third book in the 'Brief Lives' series) – 2007
*"Thames: Sacred River" – 2007
*"Poe: A life cut short" – 2008

Children's non-fiction ("Voyages Through Time" series)

*"The Beginning" – 2003
*"Escape From Earth" – 2004
*"Kingdom of the Dead" – 2004
*"Cities of Blood" – 2004
*"Ancient Greece" – 2005
*"Ancient Rome" – 2005


*"The Mystery of Charles Dickens" – 2000

Television / documentary

BBC unless otherwise noted
*2002 "Dickens"
*2004, "London"
*2006 "The Romantics"
*2007 "London Visions", (documentary series) Artsworld. See a review [ here] .
*2008 "Peter Ackroyd's Thames" ITV

External links

Author information

*iblist name|id=8123|name=Peter Ackroyd
*ibdof name|id=501|name=Peter Ackroyd
*isfdb name|id=Peter_Ackroyd|name=Peter Ackroyd
* [ A more in-depth biography]
* [,5917,-1,00.html Guardian Books "Author Page"] , with profile and links to further articles.


* [,6761,544022,00.html Excerpt from London: The Biography]
* [ Another excerpt from London: The Biography]


* [,,923-1731478,00.html "The man who invented Arthur"] - "The Times" - 13 August 2005
**Article about Thomas Malory.
* [,,2100-2469274,00.html "Undercover in mother Russia"] - "The Sunday Times" - 26 November 2006
**Travel writing about Moscow.


*"Shakespeare", [,,23113-1779754,00.html Review] by John Carey - "The Times", September 18, 2005
*"Newton", [,,23114-2143451,00.html Review] by Nigel Hawkes - "The Times", 22 April 2006
*"The Clerkenwell Tales". [ Review] - "The Telegraph", 4 August 2003

Ackroyd's reviews of other writers' work

* [ "Peter Ackroyd on the Thames"] : a review in the [ TLS] by Rosemary Ashton, October 21 2007
*" [,,923-2514488,00.html The Nativity: History and Legend] " by Geza Vermes - "The Times" - 23 December 2006
*" [,,923-2390779,00.html London: City of Disappearances] " edited by Iain Sinclair - "The Times" - 7 October 2006
*" [,,23113-2445952,00.html The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge] " by Adam Sisman - "The Times" - 11 November 2006
*" [,,23114-2000573,00.html The Devil's Doctor: Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science] " by Philip Ball - "The Times" - 21 January 2006
*" [,,23111-2238510,00.html Paris: The Secret History] " by Andrew Hussey - "The Times"
* [ Further book reviews at "The Times" available via this Google search] .


* [ Interview with Peter Ackroyd about the history of the Thames] - Part of the [ Dark Waters] project - LFA 2008
*" [,,23111-1740797,00.html Called to the Bard] " - "The Times" - 20 August 2005
**Interview with Ackroyd, discussing Shakespeare.
* [ A 1991 interview on Charles Dickens with Peter Ackroyd] by Don Swaim at Wired for Books

See also

* List of children's non-fiction writers


NAME= Ackroyd, Peter
DATE OF BIRTH= 5 October 1949
PLACE OF BIRTH= London, England

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