Novelist, biographer and poet Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. From a working-class family in west London, he got a scholarship to Cambridge and went on to Yale. He was literary editor of the Spectator and then chief book reviewer for the Sunday Times for many years. He has written over a dozen novels as well as acclaimed biographies of Eliot and Dickens, and a history of London.
Chillingly brilliant . . . sinister and stunningly well executed * Independent on Sunday * Extraordinary, amazing, vivid, convincing. [Ackroyd's] view of life questions the role not just of the novel but of art and history, memory, time and much else * Financial Times * A novel remarkable for [its] power, ingenuity and subtlety * London Review of Books *