Albion The Origins of the English Imagination

ISBN-10: 0385497733

ISBN-13: 9780385497732

Edition: N/A

Authors: Peter Ackroyd

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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.
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Book details

List price: $22.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/9/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 576
Size: 5.50" wide x 7.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

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.

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Albion
Patterns of Eternity
The Tree
The Radiates
Old English
Why Is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?
A Rare and Singular Bede
The Song of the Past
The Lives of Others
A Land of Dreams
A Note on English Melancholy
The Rolling Hills
It Rained All Night
The Prose of the World
The First Initials
Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
Middle English
The Alteration
He Is Not Dead
The Piety of England
Faith of Our Fathers
Old Stone
Part of the Territory
The Poetry of England
A Song and a Dance
Fathers and Sons
The Foolish Giant
Solitaries and Recusants
The Mysterious Voice
The Inheritance
Women and Silence
The Female Religion
A Renaissance
But Newly Translated
The Italian Connection
Mungrell Tendencies
A Short History of Shakespeare
And Now for Streaky Bacon
Antiquarianism and English History
Among the Ruins
The Conservative Tendency
A Short History Lesson
In the English Tradition
The Song of the Sea
A Brief Excursion
A Miniature
I Saw You, Missis
An English Bible
In the Beginning
Cockney Visionaries
London Calling
A Wealth of Characters
An Essay on the Essay
The Hogarthian Moment
Some Eminent Novelists
A Character Study
The Fine Art of Biography
Women and Anger
Femality and Fiction
Blood and Gore
Philosophy, Mockery and Learning
Practice Makes Perfect
Prolix and Prolific
Some More Dunces
Green England
The Secret Garden
Looking Backwards
Forging a Language
The Romantic Fallacy
English Music
Epilogue: The Territorial Imperative
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