London : The Biography, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.

There are chapters on the history of silence and the history of light, the history of childhood and the history of suicide, the history of Cockney speech and the history of drink.

London is perhaps the most important study of the city ever written, and confirms Ackroyd's status as what one critic has called 'our age's greatest London imagination.'


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 848 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780099422587



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A rambling, roller coaster of a book, which in some cases might be a minus point, but in this case seems to go with the sprawling nature and long history of the city. A great thought provoking read.

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