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Books  >>  History

Peter Ackroyd

Foundation

Peter Ackroyd Foundation The History Of England From Its Earliest Beginnin
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Series:

The History of England

Biographical note:

PETER ACKROYD is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.

Main description:

“An extraordinary book . . . Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today.” —Daily Express (UK)


In Foundation, acclaimed historian Peter Ackroyd tells the epic story of England itself. He takes us from the primeval forests of England’s prehistory to the death, in 1509, of the first Tudor king, Henry VII. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He describes the successive waves of invaders who made England English, despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French.

            With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, of civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England’s early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought to life through the narrative mastery of one of Britain’s finest writers.

Review quote:

Praise for Foundation:

"Ackroyd's trademark insight and wit, and the glorious interconnectedness of all things, permeate each page." —The Observer (UK)

"Ackroyd brings delightful but revealing details of the lives of the people from the past into the present." —Sunday Express (UK)

"With Foundation, Ackroyd makes a compelling case to be the country's next great chronicler."
Time Out (London)

“Given his eye for detail and the near-mythic writing in books like Thames: Sacred River, [Foundation]not surprisingly, a huge best seller in England—promises to be an original read.”
Library Journal

“The hugely popular Ackroyd’s ease of erudition ought not to be missed.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Once again, Ackroyd exhibits his magic touch with the written word, this time with the first in a six-volume history of England.” —Kirkus Reviews

"An extraordinary book...Peter Ackroyd is arguably the most talented and prolific writer working in Britain today." —Daily Express (UK)

“Ackroyd paints a portrait of early England that is both historically rich and compellingly human.”
Shelf Awareness

“[Ackroyd] is a natural storyteller and a passionate historian, but his true skill lies in his acute eye for revealing interesting details.” —San Francisco Book Review

Praise for Peter Ackroyd:

"Marvelously erudite and staggeringly industrious." —Los Angeles Times

"For Ackroyd, the past isn't merely past; it's alive." —The Boston Globe

"Ackroyd is a medium through which the obscured voices of the past are channeled." —Newsday

"His best work is in his marvelous cultual visions...because they convey a comprehensive and frequently dark sense of the English character and its vagaries."
—Harold Bloom, The New York Times Book Review

Table of contents:

1. Hymns of stone
2. The Roman way
3. Climate change
4. Spear points
5. The blood eagle
6. The measure of the king
7. The coming of the conquerors
8. The house
9. Devils and wicked men
10. The road
11. The law is lost
12. The names
13. The turbulent priest
14. The lost village
15. The great charter
16. Crime and punishment
17. A simple king
18. The seasonal year
19. The emperor of Britain
20. The hammer
21. The favourites of a king
22. Birth and death
23. The sense of a nation
24. The night schools
25. The commotion
26. Into the woods
27. The suffering king
28. Old habits
29. The warrior
30. How others saw us
31. A simple man
32. Meet the family
33. The divided realm
34. The world at play
35. The lion and the lamb
36. The staple of life
37. The king of spring
38. Come to town
39. The zealot king
40. The king of suspicions
41. A conclusion
 
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