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.
Chatterton (London: Abacus,  1991), ch. 10, p. 151.
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 Ackroyd
Is it possible to be nostalgic about old fears?Peter Ackroyd
Yes, I have inherited the past because I have acknowledged it at last? And, now that I have come to understand it, I no longer need to look back.Peter Ackroyd
The smell of the library was always the same – the 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".Peter Ackroyd
What captivity has been to the Jews, exile has been to the Irish. For us, the romance of our native land begins only after we have left home; it is really only with other people that we become Irishmen.Peter Ackroyd
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 Ackroyd
He had the satisfied countenance of a man who has never succeeded in boring himself.Peter Ackroyd
One can forgive Shakespeare anything, except one's own bad lines.Peter Ackroyd
Only those with great ambitions know what great fears drive them forward.Peter Ackroyd
I believe that the gods themselves are frightened of the world which they have fashioned.Peter Ackroyd
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 Ackroyd