The book explains Ackroyd's unique method of parodying biography and detective writing to create a new vision of London. Most of Peter Ackroyd's work takes place in London, and the city is said to be a unifying element in his work. Even those novels that do not use London as a setting are about London and Londoners, in history and in the present. London, in Ackroyd's work, is represented by multiple points of view - firstly that of an historical personage, and secondly, of a researcher in the present day. Through the use of such a structure, Ackroyd parodies both biography writing (by rewriting and distorting the life of a historical Londoner) and detective fiction (by making the contemporary researcher ineffectual and underqualified). These narratives, while being clearly separate and linear in themselves, focus on London, which acts as a bridge between the characters and themes in separate centuries, culminating in their merge at the end. Thus, methods of rewriting in Ackroyd's works come together in the ulterior aim of rewriting the city of London. The main aim of this study is to account for the various types of rewriting and parody that become evident in Ackroyd's fiction.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd