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. It has been abridged for audio into five broad areas of interest and is also available as a box set. For Ackroyd London is a living organism, with its own laws of growth and change, thus 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. It is a comprehensive account, animated by Ackroyd's concern for the close relationship between the present and the past as well as by what he describes as the peculiar 'echoic' quality of London whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens. 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'. Districts and Suburbs focuses on the nature and character of various inner city districts, and the growth of suburbs to form the huge urban sprawl we know as twenty-first century London.
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