English Music by Peter Ackroyd

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A boy escapes from the harsh realities of post-World War I London into the evocative world of his imagination, where a discovery of his heritage offers him the key to understanding his own past. 25,000 first printing. $25,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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 September 22, 1992 by Knopf. 399 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Reconciled to both his own and his country's past, Timothy can now accept the legacy of family and time, that ""passage of music from generation to generation."" Trouble is, Timothy, his dad, and assorted pals are not as lively or as real as the ghosts, fictional and historical, conjured up to ma...

Oct 05 1992 | Read Full Review of English Music

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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Publishers Weekly

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In this fashion, Tim comprehends the intellectual heritage that binds Britons through the centuries, and also the cyclical nature of human existence, the inheritance of family characteristics from generation to generation.

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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 English Music

London Review of Books

This consists mainly in readings from the classics of English literature, and in discussions about what Mr Harcombe describes as ‘English music’ – not music only, but English books and English paintings, which, properly understood, all aspire to the condition of English music.

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