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Peter Ackroyd

5 mins

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The life and work of English literature's most influential playwright and poet is examined in depth in this engrossing biography.




by Peter Ackroyd


The name William Shakespeare is synonymous with English literature. But the dramatist himself is shrouded in mystery; what we know of his life and influences is partial and speculative. Now, in this expansive biography, author Peter Ackroyd digs deep into Shakespeare's 16th century life and unearths a vast and intimate portrait of the bard entwined within his historical period.

Peter Ackroyd is a bestselling historian, critic, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. He's written literary biographies on everyone from Charles Dickens to William Blake, and is the recipient of myriad awards for his biographical and historical non-fiction writing.

Drawing upon his wealth of knowledge of old England, Ackroyd recounts Shakespeare's vivid world: his early years, the life of the theater where he worked, and the singular oeuvre which irrevocably shaped the canon of English literature forever.

Favorite quote

In the lives of great men and women there is a pattern of destiny. Time and place seem to shape themselves around them as they move forward. There would be no Shakespeare without London. Some recognition of that fact spurred his determination.

- Peter Ackroyd

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