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The Trope of the Tramp: Ackroyd’s Vagrants at the Heart of the City

David Charnick

The Literary London Journal, Volume 9 Number 2 (September 2011)


<1> Peter Ackroyd’s uniquely visionary elaboration of the nature of London is at the core of many of his twentieth-century novels. For Ackroyd, direct engagement is imperative: touch, sound and smell abound in his descriptive style, and consequently the physical proximity of urban walking constitutes a direct experience of the nature of London itself. The tramp, living on the city streets, is the ultimate expression of the motif of the urban walker, and embodies for Ackroyd the relationship between the City and its vulnerable citizens.

Urban Walking

<2> In Ackroyd’s first novel, The Great Fire of London, the film maker Spenser Spender and his wife Laetitia take to the streets individually to find consolation for their disappointments, and in so doing experience the elemental human context of city life. Spenser finds that his fate is ‘simply one of millions upon millions tumbling upon each other like a mountain of crystals’ (155); Laetitia’s experience is less reassuring: ‘The strength and the darkness of London had compressed itself into these tiny, wandering forms’ (135). Thus, though The Great Fire is dominated by location, it is the people of London with whom the introverted Spenders are confronted. The darkness noticed by Laetitia Spender is elaborated in Hawksmoor, where the theme of the walker is developed by alignment with the Ackroydian imperative of place. As a child, Nicholas Dyer learnt his reverence for place by walking the local streets: like a junior psychogeographer, he would sit ‘against a peece of Ancient Stone’ and meditate ‘on past Ages and Futurity’ (13), engaging with the perpetual nature of London. His experience of London turns darker when, fleeing the plague, he goes on the streets. Thus Dyer engages directly with both aspects of Ackroyd’s London, a perpetual and a threatening city; as shall be seen, this engagement persists in Dyer’s later life. Just so, his twentieth-century shadow DCS Hawksmoor betrays signs of the temperament of the walker: as a junior officer he got to know his patch and its criminal history very well, and even now he does not stay still during an investigation but needs to walk the area.

<3> It is however in the three successive novels English MusicThe House of Doctor Dee and Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, novels which explore the minatory aspect of London, that Ackroyd sustains the motif of urban walking as his protagonists engage with the threat of the city. Timothy Harcombe, the narrator of English Music, is unsettled as a child by walking with his father, feeling the ‘thin depression which issued from the very streets of London’ (59). On returning to London after leaving school, Timothy experiences a continuing sense of loss as he sees his own past swallowed by London’s continual redevelopment. Timothy finds the older areas of the City and the East End to be ‘darker and heavier’ than the west, ‘as if the atmosphere of the past had rolled like thick smoke into the east’ (235). Similarly, in one of Timothy’s visions, he walks the City streets with Hogarth who shows him a parade of dirt, noise, conflict and depravity, a diversity of life which Hogarth sees as the true character of London. The experience of the grimness of London is maintained in The House of Doctor Dee. The researcher Matthew Palmer feels himself close to the city on solitary night walks, and like the Spenders he senses the ongoing continuity of London in the faces of its citizens when walking the populated streets at daytime. However, like the young Dyer, the young Matthew’s experience of walking London was positive, but has become darker as he has grown older: ‘slowly, over the years, the city has darkened within me’ (42).

<4> John Dee shares this direct experience of London, and it is clear that like Dyer, Dee knows London’s streets well; indeed, his frequent descriptions of areas of London and his journeys by foot or horse demonstrate his familiarity. His studies however separate him from his surroundings, and it is this detachment that his revenant father seeks to redress in the vision of the world without love, as Dee goes ‘walking abroad’ through the streets he knows so well so that he can see the grim nature of the City which he himself has helped to make. At the end of the vision his father returns to underline the message by showing Dee himself ‘in miniature … wandering once more through the dark city’ (218). There is hope for Dee nonetheless as his revenant wife shows him a world with love, by embracing which he manages to arrive at the subterranean, mythic London whose streets he roams, witnessing reconciliation and closure in the characters he meets. This positive note is not however sustained into the next novel, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, which picks up the focus on London’s poor seen in Hawksmoor. The darkness of the London streets is not however without its grandeur: as Marx observes to Chief Inspector Kildare, ‘there is something about those streets which excites contemplation’ (91). What Gissing sees when he gets lost in the Clare Market area causes him to reflect on how the ‘perpetual, infinite, London’ is ‘in him, and in each of the people he had encountered that night’ (246). Indeed, as in the progress of the Architect, the murders committed by the Limehouse Golem have a sinister reverence about them. Like the Architect, the Golem embodies the minatory nature of London, as she recognises when nearing Solomon Weil’s house: ‘I had become its messenger as I walked towards Limehouse’ (85) [1].

<5> In the last two novels of the twentieth century, Ackroyd seems to abandon this increasing association of the streets of London with darkness, retaining the theme of their evocation of the perpetuity of the city. In Milton in America, Milton is beset by a dichotomy between following his natural curiosity and hedging himself round with barriers to the unknown. It is his time with the Nipmuck Indians and his consequent isolationism that show most clearly his denial of an essential openness to new knowledge, but this is betrayed also in his dream which opens the narrative. Their frequent references to London’s streets show that Milton and Goosequill have brought the city with them, and Milton refers in his shipboard dream to himself ‘Wandering down East Cheap … Samson, in the eternity of East Cheap’ (5); later, as he hangs from the tree, the voices of the approaching Indians make him think he is in Cheapside amongst the traders. Indeed, this is consistent with Ackroyd’s locational style of presentation. His constant reminders of the topography of his narratives, and his attention to the streets of London, give the reader a virtual experience of the city, and this is nowhere more central to the narrative than in The Plato Papers where the London of c. 3700 AD is seen to be fundamentally the same as that familiar to the reader. Scrupulous references to location fix narrative events, and details such as the restored city wall and the free-flowing Tyburn and Fleet denote the future London’s topographical continuity with the city of a time before that of the reader. Thus when Plato descends to a subterranean London recognisable to the twentieth-century reader, the stress on location is underlined, and Plato walks the streets of this, to him, unknown city in order to try to understand its nature. Like Spenser and Laetitia Spender, Plato walks among the citizens, and his observations allow him to see their nature, which is dismissed by his fellow Londoners as ‘some fevered dream or hallucination’ while at study (134).

On the Margins

<6> Those who walk its streets then are the citizens who are closest to the nature of the city. Given this, it is understandable that Ackroyd uses the figure of the street-walking tramp as an embodiment of the city, of its nature and its perpetuity which are the principle features of Ackroyd’s presentations of urban walking. Thus there are two aspects to Ackroyd’s presentation of the vagrant. One is that the tramp, like Ackroyd’s London, stands outside time, within a continuum which denies the progress of chronological time. The other is that this eternal figure is the perpetual victim of the predatory city which devours its poorer citizens without mercy. The victimisation of the poor is at the heart of Ackroyd’s view of London. In his address ‘London Luminaries and Cockney Visionaries’, Ackroyd speaks of London as ‘a shadowy and merciless city’ which ‘has attracted the poor and then crushed them in its progress’. [2] In the chapter of London: The Biography headed ‘They are always with us’, Ackroyd comments that the poor are ‘like the stones or the bricks, because London has risen from them’, [3] reflecting that ‘In a city based upon money and power, those who are moneyless and powerless are peculiarly oppressed’. [4]

<7> It is not of course solely as vagrants that the poor appear in Ackroyd’s novels, and though Ackroyd does not endow them with the transcendent qualities he attributes to the tramp, those on the margins of society share the status of victims and contribute to the context of oppression against which the tramp operates. The sufferings of the marginalised are thrown into clearest relief in Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem. Lost in the Clare Market area, George Gissing sees the desperate poverty of a rag shop; the stark terror of a factory ‘like some medieval spectre bathed in fire’ (245) recalls Hawksmoor’s vision of the sinister Architect (considered below) as Gissing sees smoke enwreathing the seemingly endless procession of women. Karl Marx, George Gissing and John Cree all set out to steep themselves in the conditions in which the poor live, though these efforts are undercut with admissions that they are not motivated purely by altruism. Indeed, the assistance Dan Leno gives the Chaplins stands in clear contrast to their activities, and ironically it is Gissing’s article on Babbage’s Analytical Engine (which he doesn’t understand) which has a genuine social impact. Within this context, the Golem preys on the marginalised: poor prostitutes and a Jewish scholar, as well as the impecunious Gerrard family. Marx points to the earlier victims as ‘scapegoats in the desert of London’ (92), and the Golem believes that the murder of the Gerrard household will be ‘a great testimony to the power of the city over men’ (160).

<8> Ackroyd’s presentation of the sufferings of the poor is informed by statements of their perpetuity, by means of which they are incorporated into his visionary view of a perpetual London. The resigned attitude of the poor speaks of this continuum of suffering. Thus Chatterton sees the marginalised taking refuge in Philip Slack’s library, while he reflects on their passive acceptance of their lot: ‘those now around him seemed resigned to this; they were quiet, helpless, and poor’ (72). This resignation is echoed in the attitude of the shabby young man whom Wychwood and his son meet on the bus as they head for the Tate (130: ‘We should count our blessings, shouldn’t we?’). As he confesses to the murder of Matthew Hayes at St. Mary Woolnoth, Brian Wilson is to Hawksmoor a representative of a class of people he has met all too often, who eke out their fantasy lives in ‘small rooms’ (Hawksmoor 164). Likewise, Clement Harcombe’s Chemical Theatre is frequented by people from the margins of society, particularly those who constitute the Harcombe Circle. As the young Timothy Harcombe sees three members of the Circle waiting by the gate to the Hackney Square house, he is seized by the fear that he will become like them, ‘another pale, baffled, defeated, tremulous human figure standing in the London lamplight’ (English Music 59). Years later, when he meets Stanley Clay again, Timothy understands that Stanley ‘would never be anything other than what he was now: poor, lonely, despairing’ (298).

<9> In The Great Fire of London and Hawksmoor, Ackroyd reinforces his portrayal of the minatory character of London by pointing out the ease with which Londoners might find themselves sinking into this vulnerable stratum of society. When she sees the lady with the prams, Laetitia Spender fears the precariousness of her social standing, as she imagines ‘the speed with which she, too, could join the old woman on the streets of the city’: she fears ‘The strength and the darkness of London’ (The Great Fire 14, 135). Likewise Nicholas Dyer notes of the Limehouse vagrants that ‘others are but one Step away from their Condition’ (Hawksmoor 63); the ease with which the twentieth-century Ned slips from being a marginalised person like Brian Wilson to the community of vagrants bears this out. Just so, Hawksmoor feels that ‘only the smallest accident’ separates him from joining the likes of Wilson on society’s margins (164).

<10> There is no hope for those who live on London’s margins, whose presence provides a background of human continuum untouched by the passage of time and indicative of the nature of the city. Indeed, to Philip Slack these marginalised people have a wider significance: he wonders whether the world is ‘a vast public library, in which the people were unable to read the books’ (Chatterton 72). Such a part of the city’s make-up are the marginalised that the disintegration of the Harcombe Circle once Timothy has gone to Upper Harford sees its members absorbed without refuge back into the ongoing oppression of London. Refuge is important for these victims, their vulnerability complementing the motif of the vagrant as victim. Thus in The Great Fire of London Little Arthur’s waking hours are defined, like those of Little Dorrit, by his home and his workplace. The outside world is alien to him, the place of danger from which he tries to rescue his loved girl. Likewise the twentieth-century Ned of Hawksmoor rushes straight home from work every day; when he believes he is suspected of theft, he takes refuge in his home for days until he abandons it to go on the road.

The Tramp as Victim

<11> The context of the perpetually-suffering poor informs Ackroyd’s portrayal of the eternal vulnerability of the vagrant. Pondering the situation of rough-sleepers in the twentieth century, Matthew Palmer notes that London has ‘by some alchemy drained away their spirit’ (The House of Doctor Dee 47) and has grown ‘by encroaching upon, and subduing, the energy of its inhabitants’ (48). The sufferings of London’s tramps are as perpetual as the city itself. The stolid passivity of the tramps of The Great Fire of London who watch ‘with impersonal curiosity’ as the young tramp begs from Rowan Phillips speaks of a lifetime witnessing the same situation (22). From their status as perpetual victims springs their readiness to help Audrey Skelton burn down the film set: ‘They had been neglected so universally and for so long that they no longer felt responsible for their actions’ (161). Similarly neglected is the lady with the prams who is as much a part of the annual cycle as the wildlife, surviving another winter to continue collecting the borough’s detritus. The tramps in Hawksmoor moreover are ‘hardened in this sort of Misery’ (63) and have come to understand that ‘whatever hopes they might have had were foolish, and that life was something only to be endured’ (70). Philip Jennings replies to Doctor Dee’s suggestion that he should be taken to the whipping pillar, ‘I feel as if I were born there since I am used so badly by all’, going on to complain that the City churches have all refused him charity (The House of Doctor Dee 69).

<12> So fundamental to their condition is victimisation that vagrants are sometimes victims of each other, representing in themselves the endemic violence of London. The tramps at Borough Underground station take out on each other ‘what small bitterness or resentment they felt about their social destiny’ (The Great Fire 161), and this is shown in the way the vagrants of Hawksmoor treat each other. While Dyer maintains that the Limehouse tramps ‘subsist with a sort of Order and Government among themselves’ (63), the narrator points out that a tramp might kill another in the night, and then go back to sleep; the twentieth-century Ned is beset by a predatory female tramp who wants sex with him, and whom he beats with a book to get her off, and later Black Sam is aggressive when the thirsty Ned reaches for his bottle. Even the Architect, the embodiment in this novel of the vagrant trope, murders the tramp Ned. Though Susana Onega goes too far in asserting that he is a kind of grim reaper ‘who takes [vagrants] to the brink of the abyss and helps them kill themselves’, like the Limehouse Golem the Architect embodies the darkness and danger of London’s streets. [5] That he is repeating the earlier ‘sacrifices’, killings aligned by Dyer with arcane lore, adds sinister weight to the portrayal of the Architect, encapsulated in Hawksmoor’s vision of him ‘dancing around a fire, with the smoke clinging to his clothing and then wrapping him in a mist’ (195). The image is one of sinister mystery, with overtones of hell-fire, suggested by the drunken tramp’s preceding statement that he saw the Architect in Hell, where he ‘was roasting nicely’ (193).

The Perpetual Tramp

<13> Ackroyd’s presentation of the vagrant is thus informed unequivocally by his recognition of the minatory and predatory nature of London, the vagrant population epitomising the marginalised who bear the brunt of the city’s pitiless progress. What distinguishes vagrants from the poor in general however is the transcendent dimension with which Ackroyd invests them as an aspect of his visionary viewpoint. His belief in London’s ability to survive and, despite its changes, to remain a consistent presence through continual renewal is stated throughout Ackroyd’s twentieth-century novels in motifs such as the subterranean London and the reuse of sites. It is within this context that the trope of the tramp derives its primary significance. While sustaining the concept of urban walking and expressing the darkness of the city, the tramp as visionary figure comes in fact to embody hope within Ackroyd’s exposition of his understanding of the nature of London.

<14> It is not just the suffering of vagrants which is perpetual. The vagrant, like the city itself, is a figure who stands outside time. Thus the old lady with the prams who appears in The Great Fire of London fills her two prams with strata of rubbish from the streets of Chelsea, adding new layers continually. Her prams are a physical embodiment of time, while she is herself an image of perpetuity; hence the narrator compares her to a tortoise. Her purposeful repetition of routine is a consistency in the face of a changing world, her survival of the winter underlining her ongoing presence. Similarly, the tramp Laetitia Spender sees playing the tuba on a street corner plays ‘notes as wild and discordant as the life which passed by him’ (116): he stands apart from everyday life, like the tramps at the station who look on unmoved at the red-head who breaks into the everyday world to beg from Rowan Phillips (22). This quality of living outside ordinary time is echoed in The Plato Papers when Plato sees, in Mouldwarp London, three types of person who ‘seemed to live in a different time’ from those around them: children, the elderly and ‘the ragged people who wandered with dogs’ (92).

<15> Hawksmoor is emphatic in its presentation of vagrants as a personification of continuum, inhabiting ‘a world which only they could see’ (83). While Audrey Skelton compared the Borough tramps to Victorians, Dyer puts the Limehouse tramps further into history: they ‘looked like nothing so much as Ancient Britons’ (66). [6] Their continued occupation of Limehouse defies time: in the late twentieth century, their patch in Limehouse remains ‘that patch of derelict land by the river where the vagrants danced around their fires’ (85). In both narrative presents their dance is circular, a symbol of eternity; the song of the eighteenth-century tramps is about ‘a Wheel that turned ever’ (66), its words linking past, present and future. The territorial imperative aligns the vagrants more firmly with the genius loci of London, as it does the tramps at Borough Underground station and the lady with the prams, wandering the streets of Chelsea. Just so, the twentieth-century Ned wanders among the tramps of the East End and the City such as Watercress Joe, Black Sam and the rest, whose patches are listed by the narrator; their occupation of specific areas of London makes them ‘the guardian spirits (as it were) of each place’ (82).

<16> This is the context for the ultimate expression of the tramp’s place outside time as Nicholas Dyer emerges in the twentieth century as the Architect. [7] Encountering the tramps at Limehouse, Dyer called out, ‘I will never, never leave thee!’ (67), and when he achieves immortality by completing his spiritual complex of seven churches, his immortal nature is manifested as the epitome of the tramp. As a child, Dyer was on the streets, and as an adult he is ‘seiz’d with Trembling’ at the idea that he has not left the life behind (49): he tells his man Nat that he knows London’s streets ‘as well as a strowling Beggar’ (48). The life of the vagrant is thus in Dyer’s nature, and when at the novel’s conclusion the Architect merges with Nicholas Hawksmoor, the merge resolves as a child ‘begging on the threshold of eternity’ (217). Unlike the territorial tramps, the Architect is characterised by his walking London’s streets; London itself is the Architect’s patch. Dyer’s twentieth-century manifestation as the Architect is as a result of his passing beyond time. Though it is tempting to view his return as an example of cyclical time, especially because of the (sometimes subtly imprecise) parallels between the two narrative presents, Dyer has gone beyond the confines of time, returning to draw to himself the sympathetic Hawksmoor. In this way another link is forged between the walker and the perpetuity of London, particularly as the merging is preceded by walking through the City streets detailing the people each sees on his way to the church of Little St. Hugh.

<17> It was said above that it is in Ackroyd’s visionary view of London that the vagrant comes to express hope, and the second occurrence of the tramp as an embodiment of perpetual London is in the first of Ackroyd’s novels to offer a hopeful alternative to the minatory view of London he has been portraying. Though The House of Doctor Dee maintains the portrayal of everyday London as a place of darkness, particularly in Dee’s vision of the City as the ‘world without love’, Ackroyd promotes the visionary London as a transcendent metaphor for the power of civilisation to offer reconciliation and healing when driven not by the imperatives of self-satisfaction and of power but by those of love and community. [8] It is in conjunction with this mythic London that the figure of Philip Jennings attains to transcendence. Indeed, Susana Onega has described Jennings as a ‘human remnant of mythical London’. [9] There are references elsewhere which convey Ackroyd’s view of the vagrant as a positive visionary figure. Dyer calls tramps ‘the Children of the Gods’ who ‘see the true Face of God which is like unto their own’ (Hawksmoor 62). Similarly, in Mouldwarp London, the destitute are the ‘outcasts’ who sleep ‘by the sacred Thames’ (The Plato Papers 94). The concept is however developed in the character of Jennings in that he embodies a fundamental wisdom far older than that which Dee pursues in his quest to find the origins of London.

<18> That the mythic London is not the ancient ruin sought by Dee but a visionary city outside time is a criticism of Dee’s pursuit of his quest which is also the crux of Jennings’ first appearance, where it is clear that Jennings represents a continuum of lore older than the learning studied by Dee. Dee steps into his garden for fresh air ‘after the sweet mustiness of my library’ (68) and finds the tramp sheltering. In this scenario Ackroyd juxtaposes the continuum of learning within the literate tradition familiar to Dee with the oral tradition embodied in the canting language used by Jennings, which Dee sees as ‘a new language and thus a new world’ (71). Jennings’ inability to give the etymologies of canting words, having learnt them from his father, underlines the reliance on oral rather than literary transmission; that his father passed on this learning has of course additional significance given the prominence of the family within the novel’s thematic structure, particularly the father-son relationship. Jennings represents thus an alternative to the detrimental course Dee is following which, as demonstrated later in the vision of the world without love, has helped create the darkness of Dee’s London.

<19> Significantly, Jennings is leaving London: unlike the Architect, Jennings is not an embodiment of the minatory city. Rather, when he returns to the narrative he is associated with the call of the mythic London which draws both Dee and Palmer. His use of the canting term ‘Romeville’ for London is perhaps a suggestion that he is aligned with Ackroyd’s visionary view of London, the new Eternal City. Thus, when Jennings crosses to the twentieth century, his appearance to Matthew Palmer at Wapping is associated with an increase in Palmer’s incipient awareness of the underground city. Jennings’ question to Palmer, ‘Do you bing Romewards?’ (267), echoes once again the elevation of the mythic London to the status of Eternal City, and he welcomes Dee to a city ‘formed within the spiritual body of man’ (273).

<20> Jennings’ function is not however merely to usher Palmer and Dee into the mythic London but to identify with it, a contrast to the rejection he received in the fallen, day-to-day city. Having left the oppressions of the minatory London, Jennings is at one with the mythic city: ‘I am no longer solitary walking, but exist in all things’ (272). The mythic London subverts the order of the everyday London. Vagrants are no longer victims; rather, ‘the beggars are kings’ (267), and the regenerated Jennings embodies the contrast between the two manifestations of the City. Having shed his ‘foul filthy garments’ he now shines ‘in brightness like the sun’ (272). It is given to Jennings to equate the visionary London with the New Jerusalem, and he stresses its provision of refuge: ‘He bent down then to pat his dog. ‘There is no more death, neither sorrow nor crying. Neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away’ (273). [10] The importance of refuge for the marginalised has been noted above, and Jennings is only one of the characters who find in this perpetual, mythic city the closure and resolution they need.

<21> Both the Architect and Philip Jennings thus go beyond the confines of time. The appearance of the Architect is a self-transformation achieved through Dyer’s mysticism. In this way Dyer reaches into the twentieth century not from the eighteenth but from the position outside time which he has created, repeating the sequence of events that led to his achievement of perpetuity in order to draw a sympathetic person to join him. By creating Jennings however, Ackroyd has left behind the device of repetition and moved on to a purer state of continuum, rising above chronology by abjuring the solitary methods of Dyer to embrace an older, more visceral wisdom. In doing so he makes explicit his visionary view of London, polarising his different approaches to the city whereas the Architect is purely an extension of the predatory nature of everyday London. Thus there is no community of tramps in The House of Doctor Dee; Jennings is a solitary walker with only his dog for company. Unlike the stolid tramps of The Great Fire and Hawksmoor, he goes beyond the sufferings of the perpetual victims by leaving London behind for a mythic city where tramps are kings, and where refuge and closure are to be found.



[1] The Golem diary purporting to be by John Cree is a fake concocted by his wife Elizabeth to throw the blame on him, a point which escapes the narrator at various points.

[2] The Collection 342.

[3] London: The Biography 599.

[4] London: The Biography 600.

[5] Metafiction and Myth 53: after all, the only tramps to be killed in the novel are the two Neds, only one of whom is killed by Dyer as The Architect.

[6] She ponders whether begging is ‘a Victorian thing’ (The Great Fire of London 33).

[7] Though Laura Giovannelli is cautious in her statement that the Architect is ‘probably the reincarnation of the spirit of Dyer’ (Le Vite in Gioco128: ‘probabile reincarnazione dello spirito di Dyer’), there can be no doubt that the Architect is Dyer.

[8] Though the world with love is set in opposition to the city, it is presented within an intricately landscaped garden, not a rural setting.

[9] Metafiction and Myth 126.

[10] Cf. Revelation 21:4-5.


Works Cited

Ackroyd, Peter The Great Fire of London. Hamish Hamilton, London 1982 (repr. Penguin, Harmondsworth 1993).

—— Hawksmoor. Hamish Hamilton, London 1985.

—— Chatterton. Hamish Hamilton, London 1987.

—— English Music. Hamish Hamilton, London 1992.

—— The House of Doctor Dee. Hamish Hamilton, London 1993.

—— Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem. Sinclair-Stevenson, London 1994.

—— Milton in America. Sinclair-Stevenson, London 1996.

—— The Plato Papers. Chatto and Windus, London 1999.

—— London: The Biography. Chatto and Windus, London 2000.

—— The Collection. Chatto and Windus, London 2001.

Giovannelli, Laura Le Vite in Gioco: La Prospettiva Ontologica e Autoreferenziale nella Narrativa di Peter Ackroyd. Edizioni ETS, Pisa, Italy, 1996.

Onega, Susana Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd. Camden House, Columbia SC 1999.


To Cite This Article:

David Charnick, ‘The Trope of the Tramp: Ackroyd’s Vagrants at the Heart of the City’, The Literary London Journal, Volume 9 Number 2 (September 2011). Online at Accessed on [date of access].