Local history in the hands of a master in the evocation of time and place. In Three houses, many lives, the houses are variously a country vicarage in the Cotswolds, a girls' boarding school in Surrey and a big town house in North London; the many lives are the people who lived in them, through the ages and through many changes to the houses themselves.
Gillian Tindall is a master of miniaturist history, making a handful of people, a few places or a dramatic event stand for the much larger picture. Well-known for the quality of her writing and the meticulous nature of her research, she has written highly praised regional histories of Kentish Town (The Fields Beneath), London's Southbank (The House by the Thames) and the Latin Quarter of Paris (Footprints in Paris), as well as prize-winning novels and history. She lives in London.
"Three houses - a Cotswold vicarage, a one-time girls' boarding school and a Jacobean house. Gillian Tindall explores the lives of those who once lived there, and through her research she is able to reveal four centuries of English history. Tindall has sensitivity to the past like few others; her approach to history is delicate, detailed and revealing. For my money, this is one of the history leads of the year" Bookseller "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 "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 "Her excavation of the histories of the ordinary people who lived in each place is fascinating and she vividly brings the past to life via domestic minutiae" -- Tina Jackson Metro "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