Peter Ackroyd was born in London on 5 October 1949. He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, and studied at Yale University as a Mellon Fellow, where he completed Notes for a New Culture: An Essay on Modernism, published in 1976. On his return from Yale, he worked for The Spectator magazine in London as literary editor (1973-7), then as joint managing editor (1978-82) and film critic. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1984. Hawksmoor won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and Chatterton was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Peter Ackroyd lives in London, and is the author of the ground-breaking London: The Biography. He has written and presented 3 TV series for the BBC - Dickens (2002), London (2004), The Romantic Poets (2006). In 2003 he was awarded a CBE for services to literature.