Albion by Peter Ackroyd
Origins of the English Imagination

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Synopsis

With his characteristic enthusiasm and erudition, Peter Ackroyd follows his acclaimed London: A Biography with an inspired look into the heart and the history of the English imagination. To tell the story of its evolution, Ackroyd ranges across literature and painting, philosophy and science, architecture and music, from Anglo-Saxon times to the twentieth-century. Considering what is most English about artists as diverse as Chaucer, William Hogarth, Benjamin Britten and Viriginia Woolf, Ackroyd identifies a host of sometimes contradictory elements: pragmatism and whimsy, blood and gore, a passion for the past, a delight in eccentricity, and much more. A brilliant, engaging and often surprising narrative, Albion reveals the manifold nature of English genius.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Peter Ackroyd

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PETER ACKROYD is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River, London: The Biography, and the first volume of his history of England, Foundation. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Anchor. 578 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Albion

The Guardian

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Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination, by Peter Ackroyd (Vintage, £12.99) Reviewing this book in these pages when it first came out, Blake Morrison said it was "in its idiosyncratic fashion...

Jul 31 2004 | Read Full Review of Albion: Origins of the Englis...

The Guardian

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Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd Chatto & Windus £25, pp527 As everyone but the soccer yobs who fly the St George's pennant on their vans must have noticed, England no longer exists.

Oct 20 2002 | Read Full Review of Albion: Origins of the Englis...

The Guardian

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Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd 516pp, Chatto, £25 At first glance, Peter Ackroyd writing on the middle ages is about as plausible as Will Self publishing a biography of Chaucer or Irvine Welsh issuing a scholarly monograph on The Dream of the Rood.

Oct 05 2002 | Read Full Review of Albion: Origins of the Englis...

Publishers Weekly

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He cites love of gardens, worship of trees, cultivation of dream-visionaries, affection for eccentricity, affinity for morbid sensationalism, attraction to understatement, pleasure in alliteration, fondness for cross-dressing, passion for antiquarianism, ease with an empirical temper, relish for ...

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Scotsman.com

Englishness, apparently, springs from the English soil like English trees, poetry, music, drag acts, sensational novels and, no doubt, nettle tea.

Oct 05 2002 | Read Full Review of Albion: Origins of the Englis...

Project MUSE

His main avenues for this exploration are the English melancholic interpretation of nature, English reverence for the past, the English predilection for horror, the continuous reinvention of the English female voice, and the recurrent notion of the mongrel.

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