London: A Biography By Peter Ackroyd Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton London: A Biography is not a biography in the usual sense of the term. True, Ackroyd is an excellent writer who is adept at weaving together bits of archaeology with a historical note and a dollop of quotes from a novelist. I did enjoy the book, but it was not what I expected. As a Londoner, I hoped to discover new insights into the nether regions of the past and present. That hope was realised . In fact, I am looking for some of the books Ackroyd mentioned in his closing essay. I suppose any biographer has to pick and choose among the many events in a long life that tell an interesting story. The author has chosen well. Would I have chosen differently? Yes. I would like more about science and history with fewer quotations from literary sources. I read about so many churches, but I did not learn much about the interaction of the people with their churches. I read about a few royal
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