Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Shakespeare

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by Peter Ackroyd

Shakespeare by Peter Ackroyd X
Shakespeare by Peter Ackroyd
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2005, 592 pages
    Nov 2006, 592 pages

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Beyond the Book

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Peter Ackroyd was born in London, England and educated at Clare College, Cambridge; and at Yale. He began his literary career as a poet, before turning to fiction.  Today, he is the bestselling author of at least fourteen novels (often writing with a dual narrative style where the two voices are separated by the centuries), fifteen non-fiction books, various collections and a history series for children.

His best known books include Hawksmoor (winner of the Whitbread Award) and Chatterton (shortlisted for the Booker Prize) His most recent books include The Lambs of London; Shakespeare: The Biography; and J.M.W. Turner, the second biography in the Ackroyd Brief Lives series. He has also written full-scale biographies of Dickens, Blake, and Thomas More and the novels The Clerkenwell Tales, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, Milton in America, and The Plato Papers.

The Fall of Troy was published in the UK in September 2006, but is not yet available in the USA.  As the title suggests it is an historical novel, but not set in the period you might think - instead Ackroyd takes us to the relatively recent past of the 19th century, to the excavation site of the Bronze Age site of Troy. 

Useful link: A full bibliography at

This article was originally published in November 2005, and has been updated for the November 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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