Monday, August 15, 2016

London by Peter Ackroyd

    • London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
    • Published October 2001
    • Other books by author include London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets, Shakespeare: The Biography and Dickens. He has written over 30 books.

    • This is not a chronological history of London. It is more a cohesive series of essays on every conceivable topic related to London life over the past 2,000 or so years.
    • Place names, executions, fires, speech, neighborhoods, prisons, lighting, fog, prostitution, murderers, the poor, the rich, Cockney life and speech, government, clothing, ethnic groups, and so much more.
    • If one topic bores you turn the page and there will be a new one.

    • I read this off and on over two months. It was an easy book to dip into for a chapter or two before setting it down to read something else. It is a "skimmable" book in that you really can ignore what doesn't interest you. You don't need to read the beginning to understand the end.
    • Some parts were boring and some parts were gripping.
    • Recommended for people who want to know everything about the city of London. Again, it is not a history. Kings and queens are barely mentioned.