The Lambs of London
The Lambs of London deals with Charles and Mary Lamb (if you were expec...more
Although I read this short read pretty effortlessly, I never became invested in any of the characters. In the end, I felt the book only hinted at the anguish and aspirations of some of its character...more
This was my first Peter Ackroyd book, an unfortunate choice because he has written some that are considered excellent. You have to wonder, with material like the Lambs to work with, why he would change so many of the basic facts of their lives together. I read on to the end because of the chance the book gives for a gritty glimpse of the time: Ackroyd is celebrated for his knowledge of...more
Good sides first: Ackroyd really catches the feel of history (or at least, he makes one believe he does, which is as well), makes it seem like an actual time that once was real, as opposed to some kind of fantasy land. I liked the details and the way he looked past the usual in historical fiction.
But the plot. Hm. I feel like the twist was pretty predictable (though I only half saw it coming because I kept hoping he wouldn't go there). Looking back, I'm not quite su...more
Since a lot of the events in this book are a matter of historical record, you may know some of the events of this book before you read it. I'm still going to be as vague plot wise as possible because I went in with very little knowledge and I enjoyed the surprises. All I knew of Char...more
The book is lovely, the author clearly knows how to write, the story has a nice flow and though the book is rather short the character analysis and growth is enjoyable.
And the story is captivating, though you can guess that forgery is going on pretty early on (even when you do not...more
Charles and Mary live with their senile father and repressive mother. Charles, who can at least escape to go to work and of course is free to go where he wants (as a 'respectable' woman co...more
Charles and Mary Lamb, are still living at their parents' home. Charles who is an aspiring writer bored stiff by his job as a clerk at the East India Company, enjoys a drink or three too many each night at the local pub. His sister, Mary, is trapped in domesticity, (I know big words here) caring for her ailing, dotty father and her maddening mother. The siblings' enchantment with Shakespeare provides a much-needed escape, and they delight in readi...more
Mary Lamb is suffocating at home with her demented father, fussing mother and brother Charle...more
The book is written under the conceit that well-known Shakespeare forger from the late 18th century, William Ireland, gets to know Ch...more
I'm torn between giving this three or four stars. Ackroyd has a wonderful feel for historic London, and the writing and pace of the plot is very...more
I think you really have to have some background knowledge about Shakespeare and his plays to really enjoy this book.
The plot is based on a really good idea but Ackroyd doesn't develop the story well enough. The characters seem pretty constructed and sometimes he tells little stories on the side which don't seem to have any significance at all.
Peter Ackroyd, author of London: The Biography and other historical novels, imbues his newest work, based on real people in 19th-century London, with Elizabethan flair. Filled with colorful characters, suspense, ambiguity, and wit, this tragicomedy offers a rich appreciation of literature and history. The only debate centered on the novel's historical accuracy. The Los Angeles Times faulted Ackroyd for presenting inaccuracies that contradict known history, despite the author's admitted fictiona...more
Peter Ackroyd's mother worked in the personnel department of an engineering firm, his father having left the family home when Ackroyd was a baby. He was reading newspapers by the age of 5 and, at 9, wrote a play about Guy Fawkes. Reputedly, he first realized he was gay at the age...more