Novelist, critic and biographer British, born in London and educated at the University of Cambridge. He moved to the United States, which had been granted a Mellon grant to study at Yale University. He worked as literary director of the Spectator newspaper between 1974 and 1982, and in 1986 moved to The Times, where he was the head of the literary section.
Apart from his work as a journalist, Ackroyd is popularly known for its novelistic production, usually set in his hometown, as in the great fire of London (1982), the last testament of Oscar Wilde (1983), where he reconstructs the life of the poet from his last diary, or Hawskmoor (1985), the work that he narrates in an archaic language the life of its protagonist, the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, who lived in the 18th century, and that achieved great success, because with it he won the Whitbread Award for best novel. The House of doctor Dee (1993), another of his historical novels set in London, where he discovers the world of witchcraft.
CHATTERTON is a clear sign of the other passion of Ackroyd: biography; It tells the life of Thomas Chatterton, poet of the 18th century, work that was a finalist for the Booker Prize. And entering fully in its biographical works, which have received critical acclaim, he published numerous works dedicated to pick up the lives of famous writers such as T. S. Eliot (1984), work which attained the Whitbread Biography Prize; Ezra Pound, published in the same year as the previous or Dickens (1990). And finally, one of his last works, entitled English music (1992).