Blake by PETER ACKROYD

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About PETER ACKROYD

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Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. He graduated from Cambridge University and was a Fellow at Yale (1971-1973). A critically acclaimed and versatile writer, Ackroyd began his career while at Yale, publishing two volumes of poetry. He continued writing poetry until he began delving into historical fiction with The Great Fire of London (1982). A constant theme in Ackroyd's work is the blending of past, present, and future, often paralleling the two in his biographies and novels. Much of Ackroyd's work explores the lives of celebrated authors such as Dickens, Milton, Eliot, Blake, and More. Ackroyd's approach is unusual, injecting imagined material into traditional biographies. In The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), his work takes on an autobiographical form in his account of Wilde's final years. He was widely praised for his believable imitation of Wilde's style. He was awarded the British Whitbread Award for biography in 1984 of T.S. Eliot, and the Whitbread Award for fiction in 1985 for his novel Hawksmoor. Ackroyd currently lives in London and publishes one or two books a year. He still considers poetry to be his first love, seeing his novels as an extension of earlier poetic work.
 
Published January 1, 1995 by Sinclair-Stevenson. 480 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Blake

Kirkus Reviews

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While he argues that Blake was often caught up in hallucinatory waking visions, Ackroyd weighs against any diagnosis of mental illness the justice of Blake's claim that he was gifted to see through and beyond the insane upheavals of his times.

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Publishers Weekly

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The British novelist's account of the life of the visionary poet and painter.

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Publishers Weekly

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Hamlyn, a senior curator at London's Tate (where the exhibition originated), and the University of York's Phillips present prints, drawings, paintings, selections from Blake's own illuminated books and other relevant materials, such as snapshots from Blake's marvelous editions of Edward Young's N...

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Christian Science Monitor

As a sophisticated modern intellect, however, Ackroyd allows his conclusions about the source and meaning of Blake's visions to remain, in the end, enticingly ambiguous.

Aug 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Blake

Christian Science Monitor

And its focus on decoding the enigma of Blake's many intriguing spiritual experiences (among them, Blake claimed to see and converse with angels) makes "Blake" essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the last great English religious poet to date.

Aug 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Blake

London Review of Books

His later books are, for the most part ‘hand-made objects, individually produced by the author-artist himself, and even copies of the same book can differ from each other in the complement of pages, page order, colour, and occasionally the wording’ – so says David Bindman in his introduction to W...

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London Review of Books

Londoner’s Diary in the Evening Standard can be relied on for a snigger of fantastical cameos: Ackroyd snoring in the theatre, outrageously affectionate in society, mugged – with Wildean heroism – in Islington.

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