Information about the author.
Peter Ackroyd’s The Life of Thomas More is a reconstruction of the life and imagination of one of the most remarkable figures of history—and arguably the most brilliant lawyer the English-speaking world has ever known. Thomas More was a renowned statesman, the author of a political fantasy that gave a name to a literary genre and a worldview (Utopia), and, most famously, a Catholic martyr and saint, who was beheaded when he refused to follow his sovereign, King Henry VIII, in severing England’s ties from the Catholic Church. Ackroyd shows dramatically how the clouds of Reformation that swarmed over the European continent unleashed the storm of the early modern period that swept away More’s world and took his life. He clarifies the whirl of dynastic, religious, and mercantile politics that brought the autocratic Henry VIII and the devout More into their fateful conflict. And he narrates the unrelenting drama of More’s final days—his detention, trial, and execution—with a novelist’s mastery of suspense.
This fictional nightmare combines the genres of thriller, ghost story and metaphysical tract. Ackroyd uses 17th-century language and spelling to evoke the spirit of London after the Great Fire.
In the twentieth century, no Anglo-American poet or critic has matched the influence of Thomas Stearns Eliot. Despite his political and religious conservatism, Eliot was among the most innovative of the literary modernists, a figure to be reckoned with by admirers and critics alike. In his Whitbread Prize-winning biography, Peter Ackroyd delves into the work and mind of a man who redefined the very terms of modern poetry.
From his early days in America to his later life as a British citizen, Eliot fought successfully for his work and his privacy. But with careful research and splendid insight into the poet’s character, Mr. Ackroyd has tracked Eliot to ground and brought this remarkable figure to light in an authoritative and fascinating study.
The Beginning brings an incredible story to life: the most astonishing history of the Universe. It is the story of who we are, where we are, and how we came to be here. It is the story of life itself.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, and containing a wealth of factual information to complement extraordinary narrative, The Beginning will take you on a journey of wonder: from alien landscapes to “upside-down” continents, violent collisions, and mass extinction; from worms with jaws and pigs as big as men to saber-toothed cats and monstrous dinosaurs. A time when humans were the victims, not masters, of their world. Encounter history as you have never experienced it before.
In this remarkable detective novel Peter Ackroyd investigates the death of Thomas Chatterton, the eighteenth-century poet-forger and genius, who died at the tender age of eighteen under extremely strange circumstances. Fusing themes of illusion and imagination, delusion and dreams, the author weaves strands from three centuries. The cast is a motley crew of Dickensian eccentrics and rogues, from the outrageous, gin-sipping Harriet Scrope to the tragic Charles Wychwood, on a personal quest for Chatterton’s deepest secrets. With his customary wit and attention to historical detail, Peter Ackroyd blends truth and fiction into a tantalizingly clever whodunit, an ingenious twist on the tale of English literature’s greatest prodigy and most notorious “suicide.”