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Monday, April 09, 2018

The Lambs of London (2004) by Peter Ackroyd

Book Review
The Lambs of London (2004)
by Peter Ackroyd

 In the United States, Peter Ackroyd is known for his non fiction, particularly his books about London.  In the United Kingdom he also has a solid reputation for well-researched historical fiction, often retracing events he has written non-fiction books about in the past.   Charles Lamb, the brother of the brother/sister duo to which the title refers, must be close to Ackroyd's heart, since he himself was one of the first "chroniclers" of London life, back in the late 18th century.  The events of The Lambs of London revolve around a real life controversy surrounding a young book seller, William Ireland, who claimed to have discovered multiple new works written by William Shakespeare.

  The biggest real life event surrounding the Lambs, sister Mary's murder of her mother some years later, is not a subject tackled in this novel, but presumably Ackroyd depends, at some level, on the reader being familiar enough with how the tale ended in the real world to be interested in Mary's increasingly frantic despair as the book move through the otherwise Shakespeare focused plot. 

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