The Origins of the English Imagination

Book - 2003
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Peter Ackroyd follows his acclaimedLondon: The Biographywith a book that once again plumbs the history of England and uncovers the continuities that link past and present. A dazzling, highly original exploration of English culture from its roots in the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day, ALBION demonstrates that a quintessentially English quality imbues every form of cultural expression--not just literature, but also painting, music, architecture, philosophy, and science. In an intricate, expertly crafted mixture of narrative and theme, Ackroyd travels through time and across cultural categories as he seeks out the roots and the essence of the English imagination. With an irrepressible curiosity and contagious enthusiasm, he moves fromBeowulfto Virginia Woolf, Hogarth to Hockney, Purcell to Vaughan Williams, Inigo Jones to Edward Lutyens. His lively biographical sketches and incisive exegeses of the work of figures both well known and less familiar deepen our understanding and appreciation of our inherited culture. LikeLondon: The Biography, ALBION contains unexpected treasures, including a thought-provoking look at immigration and assimilation and a delightful digression into the English obsession with gardening. Black-and-white photographs and drawings, and two lavish four-color inserts add visual appeal throughout. Ackroyd's talent for distilling information and presenting it with novelistic flair shines on every page of ALBION. It is Peter Ackroyd at his most brilliant and exuberant.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2003.
Edition: 1st ed. in the U.S.A.
ISBN: 9780385497725
Branch Call Number: 942 ACKROYD
Characteristics: xxx, 524 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.


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purplemurple Oct 13, 2013

I found I couldn't keep my attention on the book even 150 pages in. The way in which he describes the english imagination is only linear in the way that all events are in order. He doesn't give even a brief explanation of every author and book he writes about. This book is only for people who take great interest in the past of English literature and already know a good deal about it.


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