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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 21 April 2013

"Chatterton" by Peter Ackroyd

Charles Wychwood is a failure both as a poet, his ambition, and as a provider for his wife and son. But he stumbles upon a painting and some papers which suggest that Thomas Chatterton, the famed eighteenth century forger, poet and suicide, may have faked his own death. But severe headaches portend his own fatality.

This is a book about reality and forgery, about plagiarism and originality, about truth and lies. It flits back and forth between Chatterton's London in 1770, the London of 1856 in which Henry Wallis paints the iconic Death of Chatterton using young poet George Meredith as the model, and a modern London peopled with Dickensian caricatures. These are among Ackroyd's most grotesque creations: mousy librarian Philip, gay gallery owner Cumberland and his jolly hockey sticks secretary who always refers to herself as the Head Girl, and the wonderfully vulgar and tactless drunk novelist Harriet Scrope.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. April 2013; 234 pages

Books by Peter Ackroyd reviewed in this blog:
Historical fiction


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