Wednesday, October 9, 2013
That would be Peter Ackroyd, one of my favorite authors, who is 63 and has written 50 books. And he does it all while drinking two bottles of wine every day of the week.
(Photo from the New York Times)
Not only is he prolific, he's versatile, writing history, biography and fiction. His books aren't short or superficial, either. His biography of Dickens checks in at 1,000 pages. He's written great books on the history of London (which I try to read before every trip to that city), the river Thames, and is now at work on a history of England, projected to be six volumes. My favorite book is Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination. It's just what the subtitle suggests: a history of all the things which have influenced British painters, musicians and writers. There are chapters on trees, rain, hills, the sea, and faith. It's both enchanting and erudite.
I was reminded of how much I love Ackroyd's work by this article, which appeared a few weeks ago in the NY Times magazine.