Chatterton

Front Cover
Grove Press, 1996 - Fiction - 234 pages
9 Reviews
Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), apparently a suicide at 18, posthumously astonished literary England when he was revealed as the author of a sequence of famous and influential "medieval" poems he claimed to have discovered. An authentic talent as well as a literary counterfeiter, he is the guiding spirit of Peter Ackroyd's brilliant novel. In today's London, a young poet and an elderly novelist engage the mystery of Chatterton by trying to decode the clues found in an old manuscript, only to discover that their investigation discloses other riddles for which there are no solutions. Chatterton is at once a hilariously witty comedy; a thoughtful and dramatic exploration of the deepest issues of authenticity in both life and art; and a subtle and touching story of failed lives, parental love, doomed marriages, and erotic passions.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

Chatterton was a rising young poet, with everything to live for. However, it comes to light that the medieval poems that he had "discovered", he had , in fact, written himself. there's an echo here of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheCriticalTimes - LibraryThing

"I am here, listen to me!" is what Peter Ackroyd, the author, seems to say. He says it rather well mind you and he's quite talented in his technical and emotional writing skills. Nevertheless we have ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

II
7
III
24
IV
37
V
48
VI
61
VII
79
VIII
81
IX
96
XI
125
XII
145
XIII
165
XIV
176
XV
189
XVI
191
XVII
209
XVIII
223

X
109

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Page 2 - Come, he would say, you and I will take a walk in the meadow. I have got the cleverest thing for you, that ever was. It is worth half a crown merely to have a sight of it ; and to hear me read it to you.

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About the author (1996)

Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. He graduated from Cambridge University and was a Fellow at Yale (1971-1973). A critically acclaimed and versatile writer, Ackroyd began his career while at Yale, publishing two volumes of poetry. He continued writing poetry until he began delving into historical fiction with The Great Fire of London (1982). A constant theme in Ackroyd's work is the blending of past, present, and future, often paralleling the two in his biographies and novels. Much of Ackroyd's work explores the lives of celebrated authors such as Dickens, Milton, Eliot, Blake, and More. Ackroyd's approach is unusual, injecting imagined material into traditional biographies. In The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), his work takes on an autobiographical form in his account of Wilde's final years. He was widely praised for his believable imitation of Wilde's style. He was awarded the British Whitbread Award for biography in 1984 of T.S. Eliot, and the Whitbread Award for fiction in 1985 for his novel Hawksmoor. Ackroyd currently lives in London and publishes one or two books a year. He still considers poetry to be his first love, seeing his novels as an extension of earlier poetic work.

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