Saturday, 13 December 2008

Review – Gillian Tindall – “The House by the Thames”

Publ: 2007 Random House
Pensby Library
ISBN: 9781844130948
Genre: Non-fiction; History (942.164)
Pages: 258p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** **

What led you to pick up this book?
It was on the New Books shelf in Pensby Library. The title and the cover photo helped to attract me. This is not an area of the country for which I have any great love but the idea of the history of a single house attracted me.

Describe the contents.
The history of a house on the South bank of the Thames opposite St Paul’s including background material to show the history of the area and specific residents of the house throughout the centuries. The depth of the research is considerable

What did you think about the style?
History made interesting through ‘elegantly elegiac prose with imaginative empathy and descriptive power’ - Jessica Mann (Literary Review)

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Smartly attractive and appropriate, incorporating a photo by Jorge Lewinski.

Would I recommend it?
Only to Londoners and those with a general interest in matters historical.

GILLIAN TINDALL began her writing career as a novelist. One of her early novels, 'Fly Away Home', won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1972. She has continued to publish fiction but has also staked out a particular territory in non-fiction, especially in idiosyncratic historical studies centred on specific places. 'The Fields Beneath: the history of one London village', which first appeared almost thirty years ago, has rarely been out of print since. 'Célestine: voices from a French village', was published in the mid-‘90s and translated into several languages. She was decorated for 'Celestine' by the French Government.

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