The fourth instalment in Peter Ackroyd's History of England series.
Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers, Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.
Ackroyd is a fascinating mix of a 19th-century narrative
historian and modern social analyst. Elements of thisbook seem very
old-fashioned and formal - in a good way. Yet the author eschews
the detached third person preferred by stuffy professionals,
favouring instead a more intimate "you" that brings the reader into
the dark alleys of industrial towns to sniff the urine, vomit and
suppurating sores of industrial England. Those perfect
sentences are scattered throughout.