Searching for: "Peter Ackroyd"

  • Peter Ackroyd

    In this second volume in the Ackroyd’s Brief Lives series, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brings us a man of humble beginnings, crude manners, and prodigious talents, the nineteenth-century painter J. M. W. Turner. Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London in 1775. His father was a barber, and his mother came from a family of London butchers. “His speech was recognizably that of a Cockney, and his language was the language of the streets.” As his finest paintings show, his language was also the language of light. Turner’s landscapes—extraordinary studies in light, colour, and texture—caused an uproar during his lifetime and earned him a place...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    This is the big one from Peter Ackroyd — and a worthy companion to London: The Biography. Only Peter Ackroyd can combine readable narrative and unique observation with a sharp eye for the fascinating fact. His method is to position Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, he not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare’s life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Some snippets: Shakespeare was secretly a Roman Catholic; the witches in Macbeth were not hags but nymphs played by boys; the “best” bed was for guests which was why he bequeathed his wife his “second...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    VOL. 1: ASPIRING SPIRIT. From Stratford to London. (Birth, 1564 - c.1590) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to meet...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    VOL. 2: THE UPSTART CROW. Ambitious Actor and Poet. (c. 1590 - Midsummer Night's Dream) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to Stratford to...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    VOL. 3: A MUSE OF FIRE. Successful Playwright and Businessman. (c. 1595 - Opening of The Globe) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    VOL. 4: THE ONLIE BEGETTER. Literary Stardom and Royal Patronage. (c. 1601 - death, 1616) Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life. Discover the theatrical world in which Shakespeare had his being - not just Shakespeare the actor but the other actors, playwrights, and managers that surrounded him. And journey to...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    Peter Ackroyd has been praised as one of thegreatest living chroniclers of Britain and its people. In Rebellion, he continues his dazzling account of the history ofEngland, beginning the progress south of the Scottish king James VI, who onthe death of Elizabeth I became the first Stuart king of England, and endingwith the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson James II. The Stuart monarchy brought together the two nationsof England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm still marked bypolitical divisions that echo to this day. More importantly perhaps, theStuart era was marked by the cruel depredations of civil war and the killing ofa king. Shrewd and opinionated, James I...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    In this massive bestseller in England, one of Britain's mostpopular and esteemed historians tells the epic story of the birth of thecountry. Peter Ackroyd, whose work has always been underpinned by aprofound interest in and understanding of England's history, now tells the epicstory of England itself. In Foundation,the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us fromthe primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death of thefirst Tudor king, Henry VII, in 1509. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge tothe founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and thecathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past-a Neolithic...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    A gripping, short biography of the extraordinary Wilkie Collins, author of The Moonstone and The Woman in White, two early masterpieces of mystery and detection Short and oddly built, with a head too big for his body, extremely near-sighted, unable to stay still, dressed in colorful clothes—Wilkie Collins looked distinctly strange. But he was nonetheless a charmer, befriended by the great, loved by children, irresistibly attractive to women, and avidly read by generations of readers. Peter Ackroyd follows his hero, “the sweetest-tempered of all the Victorian novelists,” from his childhood as the son of a well-known artist to his struggling beginnings as a writer, his years of fame,...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    A brief yet definitivenew biography of one of film's greatest legends, perfect for readers who wantto know more about the iconic star but who don't want to commit to a lengthywork. He was the very first icon of the silver screen and is oneof the most recognizable of Hollywood faces, even a hundred years after hisfirst film. But what of the man behind the moustache? Peter Ackroyd's biographyturns the spotlight on Chaplin's life as well as his work, from his humbletheatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award.Everything is here, from the glamor of his golden age to the murky scandals ofthe 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. There are charming anecdotes...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    From Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome to theepic rule of Elizabeth I, the age of the Tudors comes to vivid life on the page. Peter Ackroyd, one of Britain's most acclaimedwriters, brings the age of the Tudors to vivid life in this monumental book inhis History of England series, charting the course of English history fromHenry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome to the epic rule of Elizabeth I. Rich in detail and atmosphere, Tudors is thestory of Henry VIII's relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and theperfect heir, of how the brief royal reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gaveway to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under"Bloody Mary." It...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    In the first in a new series of brief biographies, bestselling author Peter Ackroyd brilliantly evokes the medieval world of England and provides an incomparable introduction to the great poet's works. Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, lived a surprisingly eventful life. He served with the Duke of Clarence and with Edward III, and in 1359 was taken prisoner in France and ransomed. Through his wife, Philippa, he gained the patronage of John of Gaunt, which helped him carve out a career at Court. His posts included Controller of Customs at the Port of London, Knight of the Shire for Kent, and King's Forester. He went on numerous adventurous diplomatic missions to France and Italy. Yet he...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    In this BBC Radio adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's spectacular one-man show, Simon Callow portrays both Charles Dickens and many of his best-loved characters, from Mr Micawber and Bill Sikes to Oliver Twist and Nancy. Readings from his novels interweave with the author's own words and an incisive, compassionate narrative. Dickens' idyllic childhood in Chatham was swapped for his family's penurious existence in London. With his father imprisoned for debt, young Charles was deprived of an education and forced to work in a blacking factory. Such experiences moulded him into the fiercely industrious, ambitious writer who would later claim that his characters talked to and touched him. Full of...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    London: The Biograph is the pinnacle of Peter Ackroyd's brilliant obsession with the eponymous city. In this unusual and engaging work, Ackroyd brings the listener through time into the city whose institutions and idiosyncrasies have permeated much of his works of fiction and nonfiction. Peter Ackroyd sees London as a living, breathing organism, with its own laws of growth and change. Reveling in the city's riches as well as its raucousness, the author traces thematically its growth from the time of the Druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Anecdotal, insightful, and wonderfully entertaining, London is animated by Ackroyd's concern for the close relationship between the...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    The Venetians' language and way of thinking set them aside from the rest of Italy. They are an island people, linked to the sea and to the tides rather than the land. This latest work from the incomparable Peter Ackroyd, like a magic gondola, transports its listeners to that sensual and surprising city. His account embraces facts and romance, conjuring up the atmosphere of the canals, bridges, and sunlit squares, the churches and the markets, the festivals and the flowers. He leads us through the history of the city, from the first refugees arriving in the mists of the lagoon in the fourth century to the rise of a great mercantile state and its trading empire, the wars against Napoleon,...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    Three Brothers follows the fortunes of Harry, Daniel and Sam Hanway, born on a post-war council estate in Camden Town. Marked out from the start by curious coincidence, each boy is forced to make his own way in the world – a world of dodgy deals and big business, of criminal gangs and crooked landlords, of newspaper magnates, back-biters and petty thieves. London is the backdrop and the connecting fabric of these three lives, reinforcing Ackroyd’s grand theme that place and history create, surround and engulf us. From bustling, cut-throat Fleet Street to hallowed London publishing houses, from the wealth and corruption of Chelsea to the smoky shadows of Limehouse and Hackney, this is...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    A gripping short biography of the extraordinary Alfred Hitchock, the master of suspense. Alfred Hitchcock was a strange child. Fat, lonely, burning with fear and ambition, his childhood was an isolated one, scented with fish from his father's shop. Afraid to leave his bedroom, he would plan great voyages, using railway timetables to plot an exact imaginary route across Europe. So how did this fearful figure become the one of the most respected film directors of the twentieth century?      As an adult, Hitch rigorously controlled the press's portrait of him, drawing certain carefully selected childhood anecdotes into full focus and blurring all others out. In this...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    In this vividly descriptive short study, Peter Ackroyd tunnels down through the geological layers of London, meeting the creatures that dwell in darkness and excavating the lore and mythology beneath the surface. There is a Bronze Age trackway below the Isle of Dogs, Anglo-Saxon graves rest under St. Pauls, and the monastery of Whitefriars lies beneath Fleet Street. To go under London is to penetrate history, and Ackroyd's book is filled with the stories unique to this underworld: the hydraulic device used to lower bodies into the catacombs in Kensal Green cemetery; the door in the plinth of the statue of Boadicea on Westminster Bridge that leads to a huge tunnel packed with cables for...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    Dominion, the fifth volume in Peter Ackroyd's masterful History of England, begins in 1815 as national glory following the Battle of Waterloo gives way to a post-war depression and ends with the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901. Spanning the end of the Regency, Ackroyd takes listeners from the accession of the profligate George IV, whose government was steered by Lord Liverpool, whose face was set against reform, to the 'Sailor King' William IV, whose reign saw the modernization of the political system and the abolition of slavery. But it was the accession of Queen Victoria, at only eighteen years old, that sparked an era of enormous innovation. Technological progress-from steam...read more

  • Peter Ackroyd

    When two nineteenth-century Oxford students—Victor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley—form an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world's most accomplished and prolific authors.   This haunting and atmospheric novel opens with a heated discussion, as Shelley challenges the conventionally religious Frankenstein to consider his atheistic notions of creation and life. Afterward, these concepts become an obsession for the young scientist. As Victor begins conducting anatomical experiments to reanimate the dead, he at first uses corpses supplied by the coroner. But these specimens...read more