The Lambs of London – Peter Ackroyd

The Lambs of London offers a snapshot of the Lamb family’s lives and William Ireland, who live in London. Peter Ackroyd has written many works, especially on London’s history and culture, and is a writer and critic who loves this city. I look forward to reading his book ‘London: The Biography’ in the future.


The Lambs of London is about love, family, madness, passion, Shakespeare, intrigue and London. Mary, my favourite member of the Lamb family, lives with her insane father, her grumpy and despotic mother, and her beloved brother Charles. She spends her days looking after her father, trying to get on with her mother. And evenings she desperately awaits Charles.

The Lambs of London - Peter Ackroyd

Solely because Mary is a woman, her place is home, and she is not educated like Charles. However, when it comes to literature, she is in no way lagging behind Charles. In her minimal life in this house, she only enjoys talking with Charles. And this is the only stimulant for her brain. She has no other happiness.

On the other hand, Charles is considered very peaceful at home and more or less happy at his job. He has friends and nightlife, and like Mary, he is fond of literature. William Ireland is an ordinary man who works in his father’s bookstore. However, this trio’s lives will forever change with Shakespeare.

The character that impressed me the most in the book was Mary. She is such a great character that one can see her whole life with minimal effort. Enjoy!

The Lambs of London - Peter Ackroyd

The Lambs of London

Mary Lamb is confined by the restrictions of domesticity: her father is losing his mind, her mother watchful and so hostile. The great solace of her life is her brother Charles, an aspiring writer. It is no surprise when Mary falls for the bookseller’s son, antiquarian William Ireland, from whom Charles has purchased a book. But this is no ordinary book – it once belonged to William Shakespeare himself. And William Ireland with his green eyes and his red hair is no ordinary young man…

The Lambs of London brilliantly creates an urban world of scholars and entrepreneurs, a world in which a clever son will stop at nothing to impress his showman father, and so no one knows quite what to believe. Ingenious and vividly alive, The Lambs of London is a poignant, so gripping novel of betrayal and deceit.

Peter Ackroyd

Peter Ackroyd, CBE, FRSL is an English biographer, novelist and critic with a particular interest in the history and so culture of London. For his novels about English history and culture and his biographies of, among others. William Blake, Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot, Charles Chaplin and so Sir Thomas More, he won the Somerset Maugham Award and two Whitbread Awards.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

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