Peter Ackroyd was born in London in 1949. He achieved a Double First at Cambridge and studied in America at Yale as a Mellon Fellow. His first two publications were books of poetry; his first biography was about Ezra Pound and his first novel was about Oscar Wilde. He is a successful novelist (taking most of his backgrounds from history) and has written biographies of T.S. Eliot, Dickens, Blake and Thomas More, as well as short books on Chaucer and Turner. He has written and presented two TV series for the BBC (Dickens and London) and is the author of London: the biography and Albion: the origins of the English Imagination.