The story of three houses, which represent the changing face of England over four centuries, told through the lives of the people who lived in them.
Gillian Tindall is a master of miniaturist history, well known for the quality of her writing and the scrupulousness of her research; she makes a handful of people, a few locations or a dramatic event stand for the much larger picture, as her seminal book The Fields Beneath, approached the history of Kentish Town, London. She has also written on London's Southbank (The House by the Thames), on southern English counties (Three Houses, Many Lives), and the Left Bank (Footprints in Paris), amongst other locations, as well as biography and prize-winning novels. Her latest book, The Tunnel through Time, traced the history of the Crossrail route, the forthcoming 'Elizabeth' line. She has lived in the same London house for over fifty years.
With a detective's forensic patience and the narrative ear of a
novelist, Tindall unpicks the histories of these houses -- Jane
Shilling * Sunday Telegraph *
Gillian Tindall is a tapestry maker. She finds patterns in history - woven from close research into people and places - that no one else would have the persistence and insight to pursue. In this unique and often joyful chronicle, she interweaves the stories of three houses which marked crucial stages in her own life * Independent *
A gentle, yet rigorous examination of the story of three historic buildings...each chapter is an engaging meditation on English history. Thanks to Ms Tindall the stories of all three are better understood than at any point in their history, and all have their place in a perfectly crafted book * Country Life *
Tindall is a forensic researcher [and] has an imaginative historical sensibility and her way of revisiting the past - as if approaching it through the back door - has both subtlety and poignancy. The names of Tindall's inhabitants may sometimes pass in a blur but together they form a roll-call of the predecessors of modern Britain. There are of course thousands of other houses like the three in this touching book...whose stories will never be told -- Michael Prodger * Financial Times *
Gillian Tindall is gifted with an archeological imagination. [She] circles around these houses, bringing out their light, colour and preciousness by employing a method that crosses genres. This book is an education in many things -- Frances Spalding * Literary Review *