Colonising the Past: The Novels of Peter Ackroyd

  • David Leon Higdon


In a mere thirty years, Peter Ackroyd has published ten densely intertextual novels, five well-received biographies, studies of the English imagination, drag and postmodern theory, four studies of London, an estimated million words in reviews, essays, introductions and short stories. Although these works involve historical figures, constantly question the continuities between past and present, and foray deep into metafictional experiments, Ackroyd rejects being called either an historical novelist or a postmodernist, preferring to identify with what he calls ‘English music’ and the Cockney visionary traditions, a stance which marks him as both.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

For Further Reading

  1. For a hard copy list of Peter Ackroyd’s work up to 2001, see Contemporary Novelists, ed. David Madden et al., 7th edn (New York: St James Press, 2001). For a more up-to-date list on the internet, see the British Council website: <>.Google Scholar
  2. Gibson, Jeremy and Julian Wolfreys, Peter Ackroyd: the Ludic and Labyrinthine Text (London: Macmillan, 2000; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hutcheon, Linda, A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction (London: Routledge, 1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. McHale, Brian, Postmodernist Fiction (London: Methuen, 1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nash, Cristopher, World Postmodern Fiction: a Guide (London: Longman, 1987).Google Scholar
  6. Onega, Susana, Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd (Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1999).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Leon Higdon 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Leon Higdon

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations