The Lambs of London
The Lambs of London deals with Charles and Mary Lamb (if you were expec...more
Mary Lamb is suffocating at home with her demented father, fussing mother and brother Charle...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 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
The book is written under the conceit that well-known Shakespeare forger from the late 18th century, William Ireland, gets to know Ch...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
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
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
If you are interested in Shakespeare, this makes a fascinating read and it will send you to Wikipedia to find out more about Ireland. However, it seems that there is no evidence to suggest that he had anything to do with Charles and Mary Lamb, so I am utterly baffled as to why Ackroyd chose them as characters in this n...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
All in all, I can't say I got a whole lot from reading this book. But, that is not to say there is nothing there. I suspect this is the type of book that would make for excellent discussion in a book club or just between friends.
From what I can understand, this is an existential book. It is essentially about living, but it is not going to give the reader any advice as to how to live.
So, out o...more
A bit baffling what to make of this. It is very well written as one would expect from Peter Ackroyd and is a typical historical novel weaving fact with speculation. However the main issue in this novel is the authenticity of documents purporting to be written by William Shakespeare. The tension and awkwardness that the appearance of these documents causes between the main characters is well portrayed. However the character, motivations and skills of William Ireland are seen through a glass dark...more
That said, the storyline was a little bumpy at times and the ending seemed rushed. Also, I felt that the characterization was such that the reader cannot identify with anyone, because they are so remote and untouchable.
I enjoyed the look into the Shakespeare Cult...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
I was a little disappointed that in spite of the title so much of the story centred on William Ireland, and not the Lambs. I suppose Ireland's story, and that of the Lambs, both concern troubled relationships between parents and child. Although there is...more
The plot is an interesting one and keeps the reader guessing to the end. However, one must beware because, as the author points out in a brief foreword note, this is purely a work of fiction with the lives of the Lamb family changed completely.
This has to be kept in mind, and it is sometimes difficult to do with these real personalities brought to life so well and when immersed in t...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