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Publisher's Summary

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". Street Life and the People vividly describes the everyday activities and concerns of Londoners. Particular areas of interest include customs, food, drink, entertainment, sex, crime, and punishment.
©2000 Peter Ackroyd; (P)2004 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Peter Ackroyd was born to write the biography of London....A brilliant book." (Sunday Telegraph)

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  • Story
  • Farah
  • 03-18-15

Always with us

Interesting, though given the subject matter - the life of the poor in the great city - inevitably repetitive. From Roman times to the twenty first century the association of poverty with crime, sexual exploitation , and punishment are described using the words and experiences of contemporary witnesses. An interesting survey of a never changing reality which includes some curious changes in attitudes and tolerance through the period.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AnneDriscoll
  • 07-13-17

Excellent

Callows splendid voice carries the story,excellent book the snippets of London history are intriguing,highly recommend.

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  • Mr David Cartwright
  • 06-19-17

As expected

Peter Ackroyd's history of London is just enthralling but each volume is shorter than it needs to be. Simon Callow seems a perfect choice for narrator as he was for the shakespearian volumes. A learned and listenable set well worth the time but a touch expensive to get the lot.

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  • Matt D
  • 05-10-17

Drenched in Detail

Heavy going at times. Masses of detail. Interesting background and current biography of The Big Smoke!