Peter Ackroyd was born on 5 October 1949 in London. Novelist and biographer known for his interest in London history and culture. Ackroyd began his career writing poetry with poems such as London Lickpenny (1973) and The Diversions of Purley (1987). Later, he began composing fiction works and achieved great success, winning the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1998 for the biography Tomás Moro.
Between 1973 and 1977, Ackroyd worked at The Spectator magazine and from 1978 he held the position of deputy editor. In 1982, he published The Great Fire of London, his first novel. This was the first novel in a series of works about London, in which Ackroyd explores the changing nature of the city. Between 2003 and 2005 he wrote a series of six children's nonfiction books called Voyages Through Time. The series is an extensive narrative of key periods of history and was critically acclaimed. In 1984 he was nominated to be a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2003 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.