Peter Ackroyd Quotes

'London' is a gallery of sensation of impressions. It is a history of London in a thematic rather than a chronological sense with chapters of the history of smells, the history of silence, and the history of light. I have described the book as a labyrinth, and in that sense in complements my description of London itself.

Silence Quotes, History Quotes, Logic Quotes

I can remember picking up weighty tomes on the history of science and the history of philosophy and reading those when I was small.

History Quotes, Philosophy Quotes, Science Quotes

To watch King Lear is to approach the recognition that there is indeed no meaning in life, and that there are limits to human understanding.

Life Quotes, Understanding Quotes, Recognition Quotes

 

In 'The Plato Papers' I wanted to get another perspective on the present moment by extrapolating into the distant future. So in that sense, there's a definite similarity of purpose between a book set in the future and a book set in the past.

Perspective Quotes, Purpose Quotes, Future Quotes

As a Londoner I was able to see how the world of power and money cast its shadow on those who failed.

Money Quotes, Power Quotes

None of my books has been ever in my head; after they're finished, they go. It's like being a sort of medium; you just grab it when it's there then just release it when it's time to go. There's a lot of instinct, not planning.

Time Quotes, Planning Quotes

I don't know if I have a voice of my own. I don't see me being an important person with something to say. I haven't. I've got nothing to say. My opinion is of no consequence or value.

Important Quotes, Opinion Quotes

Health, money. That's what people worried about in the 14th century as much as today. I find it so much more interesting than the supposed activities of kings, queens, generals.

Health Quotes, Money Quotes

My great fear has always been complete and utter failure. Hence, you see, all the dispossessed people in my fiction, and why I try to earn as much money as I can. It's a defense. I don't enjoy it or do anything with it.

Failure Quotes, Great Quotes, Fear Quotes, Money Quotes

All cities are impressive in their way, because they represent the aspiration of men to lead a common life; those people who wish to live agreeable lives, and in constant intercourse with one another, will build a city as beautiful as Paris.

Life Quotes, Aspiration Quotes, Men Quotes

I don't find myself interesting as a person and the details I find boring, quite frankly. You could sum it up in a few words or sentences really: came from nothing. Self-educated. Luck. Energy. Curiosity. Ambition. That's it. Nothing at all can illuminate the work as far as I can tell.

Ambition Quotes, Work Quotes, Curiosity Quotes, Energy Quotes, Luck Quotes

Familial love can find an echo in our own hearts just as it did in that of Charles Dickens.

Love Quotes, Heart Quotes

His head was boiled, impaled upon a pole and raised above London Bridge. So ended the life of Thomas More, one of the few Londoners upon whom sainthood has been conferred and the first English layman to be beatified as a martyr.

Life Quotes

I wanted to be a poet when I was 20; I had no interest in fiction or biography and precious little interest in history, but those three elements in my life have become the most important.

Life Quotes, Important Quotes, History Quotes

I enjoyed reading and learning at school, and at university I enjoyed extending my reading and learning. Once I left Cambridge, I went to Yale as a fellow. I spent two years there. After that, George Gale made me literary editor of 'The Spectator.'

Learning Quotes

London has always provided the landscape for my imagination. It becomes a character - a living being - within each of my books.

Character Quotes, Imagination Quotes

It sometimes seems to me that the whole course of English history was one of accident, confusion, chance and unintended consequences - there's no real pattern.

Confusion Quotes, History Quotes

The 16th-century theatre witnessed the particularly English manifestation of 'the history play.' There can be no doubt that Shakespeare's presentations of 'Henry V' and 'Richard III' have been incalculably more influential than any more sober historical study.

Rich Quotes, Doubt Quotes, History Quotes

The English have always been greedy for news of times past, with that mixture of fatalism and melancholy which is part of the national character.

Time Quotes, Character Quotes, Greed Quotes

I just wanted to be an ordinary, middle-class person. When I was at Cambridge, I made great efforts to lose the last remnants of my Cockney accent.

Great Quotes, Effort Quotes

When I was a child I wanted to be Pope. My greatest disappointment is missing out on that. I also wanted to be a tap dancer but I never fulfilled that ambition either.

Ambition Quotes, Great Quotes, Disappointment Quotes

Every book for me is a chapter in the long book which will finally be closed on the day of my death.

Death Quotes

There are so many characters whizzing around inside my head, it's like Looney Tunes. But as soon as I've finished writing about them, I completely forget who they are.

Character Quotes

Thomas More's birth was noted by his father upon a blank page at the back of a copy of Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Historia Regum Britanniae'; for a lawyer John More was remarkably inexact in his references to that natal year, and the date has been moved from 1477 to 1478 and back again.

Birth Quotes

In so far as I have any beliefs, I suppose I'm like that old Peggy Lee song, 'Is That All There Is?' I want to believe there's something else going on, but what that something else is I don't pretend to know.

Belief Quotes

To be a writer was always my greatest aim. I remember writing a play about Guy Fawkes when I was 10. I suppose it's significant, at least to me, that my first work should be about a historical figure.

Great Quotes, Work Quotes, Aim Quotes

I detest self-regard. If my work has taught me anything, it is that self-aggrandisement is completely unhistorical.

Work Quotes

I strike up conversations all the time and it is very interesting, finding out about things I know nothing about.

Time Quotes

If I did only one thing at a time I'd think I was wasting my time. If, for example, I only wrote novels I would feel like a charlatan and a fraud.

Time Quotes

It's only recently that we've discovered that the artist's inner self is somehow more important than the public world. I'm happier to create exterior pieces for the world rather than to express something I deeply feel or wish to say.

Important Quotes

4 Top Peter Ackroyd quotes about Vision

I love soap operas - the stories, the plots! And I love the game shows and the courtroom dramas and the detectives - Jessica Fletcher, 'Columbo,' 'Perry Mason,' 'L.A. Law.' Any sense of guilt appeals to me in a television program - a sense of guilt, or a sense of making a lot of money.

Love Quotes, Guilt Quotes, Law Quotes, Money Quotes, Vision Quotes

It may seem unfashionable to say so, but historians should seize the imagination as well as the intellect. History is, in a sense, a story, a narrative of adventure and of vision, of character and of incident. It is also a portrait of the great general drama of the human spirit.

Great Quotes, Character Quotes, Imagination Quotes, History Quotes, Vision Quotes

I have always believed that the material world is governed by nonmaterial sources, so that in that sense 'English Music' is an exercise in the spiritual as well as the material. I have always been attracted to the Gothic and spiritual imagination, and I've always been interested in visionaries.

Spiritual Quotes, Exercise Quotes, Imagination Quotes, Material Quotes, Music Quotes, Vision Quotes

Why should a novelist not also be a historian? To force unnatural divisions within the English language is to work against its capacious and accommodating nature. To expect a writer to produce only novels, or only histories, is equivalent to demanding from a composer that he or she write only string quartets or piano sonatas.

Work Quotes, Language Quotes, Nature Quotes, Vision Quotes