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Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1948, went to a Catholic School - St Benedicts - in the city and in 1968 was excepted at Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied English Literature. He graduated with double first class honours and in 1971 travelled to Yale University as a Mellon Fellow. After his return to Britain in 1973, Ackroyd became the youngest ever Literary Editor of the Spectator, at which post he remained until he became Managing Editor of the magazine in 1977. He resigned from The Spectator in 1981 in order to take a career as a full-time writer.

Ackroyd has won the Somerset Maugham Prize (1984) for The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde, the Guardian Fiction Award (1985) and the Whitbread Prize for the Best Novel (1986) for Hawksmoor, the Memorial Prize. His novel Chatterton was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1987.

His most recent books include best-selling biographies of Dickens (1990), Blake (1995) and Thomas More (1998), and the novels The Plato Papers (1999), Milton in America (1996) and Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994). Last year his hugely acclaimed biography of a city, London, was published and is still riding high in the best-seller lists.

Peter Ackroyd's first play for the theatre, The Mystery of Charles Dickens performed by Simon Callow, toured the UK last Spring and came into the West End at the end of August running through until January 2001. The Mystery of Charles Dickens will now run from the 8th to the 13th of October at the Gaiety Theatre for the eircom Dublin Theatre Festival 2001.

Peter Ackroyd is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Apart from his work as a novelist and biographer, he is a chief reviewer for The Times. He lives in Islington.

PERFORMANCES

The Mystery of Charles Dickens

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