“Like a Furnace Burning and Turning” – London in Peter Ackroyd’s The Great Fire of London

Petr Chalupský


Unlike the two subsequent novels, The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983) and Hawksmoor (1985), PeterAckroyd’s first novel, The Great Fire of London (1982), was not published to high critical acclaim. However, thenovel establishes its author’s concept of his fictional London, which focuses primarily on the city’s unofficial,off-the-record history. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that although it is a seemingly unambitious work anda relatively raw text, especially due to its explicit treatment of the theme of male homosexuality and the story’s bleakending, The Great Fire of London can be understood as a kind of a “proto-text” containing all the major definingaspects of its author’s fictional city, which are explored in more in-depth ways in his later, more mature Londonnovels.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v3n1p11

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedu.ca' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.