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Ackroyd has given us a hearty antidote for those drunk on nostalgia for the "good ol' days." Life hasn't really changed that much through the ages and there were no "good ol' days." Writers have always had to struggle with financial, personal and political matters. The works they hand down to us are as much indebted to windows of opportunity, fickle muses and cosmic whimsy as anything else . . . but perhaps that's not so bad. Or perhaps such forces are necessary for brilliance to emerge. Certainly, this bio makes one appreciate everything that is required for good lit to be born from the bog of daily life. I dare you to listen to this book and not go squirreling into your library to re-read the Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida.
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