The Lifeblood of London

Where lies the soul of a city? Peter Ackroyd, the indefatigable chronicler of London, has always found it in the inherited store of legends, horrors, triumphs and prejudices that reverberate through the ages in the lives of its people. In his new book Thames: Sacred River, he explores the rich urban DNA along London's river, which he regards as nothing less than the city's "presiding deity."

Anyone who has read Ackroyd's bestselling London: The Biography (2000) — or almost any of the 40 volumes of fiction, biography, history and literary criticism he has written since the 1970s —...

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