London The Biography Peter Ackroyd
An abridged edition of Peter Ackroyd's magisterial biography of the city of London. Prize-winning historian, novelist and broadcaster, Peter Ackroyd takes us on a journey - historical, geographical and imaginative - through the city of London. Moving back and forth through time, Ackroyd is an effortless, exuberant guide to times of plague and pestilence, fire and floods, crime and punishment, and sex and theatre.
Just as Peter Ackroyd's bestselling London is the biography of the city, Thames: Sacred River is the biography of the river, from sea to source. Exploring its history from prehistoric times to the present day, the reader is drawn into an extraordinary world, learning about the fishes that swim in the river and the boats that ply its surface; about floods and tides; hauntings and suicides; miasmas and malaria; locks, weirs and embankments; bridges, docks and palaces.
Much of Peter Ackroyd's work has been concerned with the life and past of London but here, as a culmination, is his definitive account of the city. For him it is a living organism, with its own laws of growth and change, so London is a biography rather than a history. It differs from other histories, too, in the range and diversity of its contents., Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record.