BookBrowse Reviews The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Lambs of London

by Peter Ackroyd

The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2006, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2007, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A witty reimagining of a great nineteenth-century Shakespeare forgery

Ackroyd blends fact, fiction and a little bit of mystery in his entertaining new novel following the success of Shakespeare (2005), in which he returns to the territory of literary plagerism that he first explored in Chatterton. Although most reviews are positive, some reviewers feel that Ackroyd plays a little too fast and lose with the facts (for example, he bumps Mary off 43 years earlier than she actually died, and there is no historical evidence that William Ireland and the Lambs were ever in contact, let alone that Mary was romantically infatuated with Ireland). Questions such as these could have been cleared up with the use of an author's note explaining where fact ends and fiction starts but all Ackroyd offers is a single comment stating that what he has written is "not a biography but a work of fiction", in which he has "changed the life of the Lamb family for the sake of the larger narrative". In actual fact, the larger narrative is barely about the Lambs at all - it is as if Ackroyd set out to fictionalize their lives but got carried away with the more entertaining subplot!

Charles Lamb was an English essayist and co-author with his sister Mary of the children's book Tales from Shakespeare (1807). Both he and his sister suffered from periods of mental illness. In 1796 Mary "worn down to a state of extreme nervous misery by attention to needlework by day and to her mother at night" stabbed her mother in the heart with a table knife. Charles succeeded in keeping her out of prison by promising to take personal responsibility for her safekeeping. Charles was friends with Wordsworth, Coleridge and acquainted with other writers of the period such as Shelley.

Related links:

This review was originally published in July 2006, and has been updated for the July 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    No One Is Coming to Save Us
    by Stephanie Powell Watts

    One of Entertainment Weekly, Nylon and Elle's most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -