And the smell of the library was always the samethe musty odour of old clothes mixed with the keener scent of unwashed bodies, creating what the chief librarian had once described as 'the steam of the social soup'.
1987 Chatterton, ch.5.
He had a fear of the dead, and of all inanimate things, rising up around himto claim him; it isthe fearof thepre- eminently solitary child and solitary man.Peter Ackroyd1990 Of Charles Dickens. Dickens, prologue.
No poet is ever completely lost. He has the secret of his childhood safe with him, like some secret cave in which he can kneel. And, when we read his poetry, we can join him there.Peter AckroydChatterton (London: Abacus,  1991), ch. 10, p. 151.
The English can laugh and at the same time strike you down, without the least compunction. It is the secret of their success as a nation.Peter AckroydPage 25. (The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983))
He had the satisfied countenance of a man who has never succeeded in boring himself.Peter AckroydPage 45. (The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983))
Only those with great ambitions know what great fears drive them forward.Peter AckroydPage 52. (The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983))
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