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The Memory Palace [Kindle Edition]

Edward Hollis
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £6.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

The rooms we live in are always more than just four walls. As we decorate these spaces and fill them with objects and friends, they shape our lives and become the backdrop to our sense of self. One day, the houses will be gone, but even then, traces of the stories and the memories they contained will remain. In this dazzling work of imaginative re-construction, Edward Hollis takes us to the sites of five great spaces now lost to history and pieces together the fragments he finds there to re-create their vanished chambers. From Rome's Palatine to the old Palace of Westminster and the Petit Trianon at Versailles, and from the sets of the MGM studios in Hollywood to the pavilions of the Crystal Palace and his own grandmother's sitting room, The Memory Palace is a glittering treasure trove of luminous forgotten places and the people who, for a short time, made them their home.

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Product Description


Praise for "The Memory Palace""Architect Hollis ("The Secret Lives of Buildings") dazzles and dizzies the reader in this cultural history of interiors...Like the interiors he's celebrating, Hollis's book is a meeting place of ideas, history, objects, and personal interpretation...the results are deeply satisfying."--"Publishers Weekly""Eloquent and evocative evidence of the evanescence of all."--"Kirkus"

About the Author

Born in London in 1970, Edward Hollis studied Architecture at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh before joining a practice, working first on ruins and follies in Sri Lanka and then on villas, brewiers and town halls in Scotland. He teaches at Edinburgh College of Art.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2857 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books (5 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #396,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful interior, indeed. 3 Oct. 2013
Sometimes a book should not appear as a paperback. This is one. The subject matter and the beauty of the writing fully justify the fine presentation. Full marks to Counterpoint, the publishers.

Edward Hollis' own prose is exceptionally smooth and unaffected and he has managed to find extracts to evidence his examples of interiors which are apt and well written so that there is no harsh contrast between author and person quoted.

This is non-fiction, a cry to preserve the moment, in tune with current taste for mindfulness. Nevertheless it is as easy and captivating a read as a novel. Time and money are spent preserving highly decorated interiors, but the ordinary domestic scene, Hollis shows us, has also so much to offer, historically and socially. This is just one stab at capturing all the Hollis has written. It is a comprehensive sweep of perspectives about interiors through culture and time.

I recommend you this book. You will not lose interest and you will close the last page feeling enriched.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 15 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes after reading a review but instead I found it simply a series of loosely connected essays based on predictable sources.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different World Of Interiors 7 Sept. 2013
I thought I knew what a book about interiors would contain, but I was wonderfully wrong, because this magical treatise has more in common with Roland Barthes' Mythologies than it does with Elle Decoration. Edward Hollis has a way of giving ancient history a visceral and intimate treatment that, literally, brings it home to us. We are used to defining old and new according to their difference, particularly when it comes to the style choices we make in our homes, but this book weaves a common thread between a present-day everyman interior (or in Hollis's case, an `every-gran interior', since he uses his granny's sitting room as his model) and the palaces of gods and kings.

Hollis pulls the same trick of the mind he used to such great effect in his first book, The Secret Lives Of Buildings. Because he starts us off in the ancient past, by the time our attention is focused on the modern world our perceptions are so alienated that we become self-anthropologists. At the same time as making us view our contemporary surroundings with the eyes of a stranger, Hollis reintroduces us to the great power-holders of their own times, who have become strangers to us in the intervening centuries, and takes us into their intimate inner sanctums: Rudolf the Holy Roman Emperor was once the centre of the universe, but this is the first time I for one had ever heard of him.

Like Versailles' Hall of Mirrors, which has a cameo inside, this book has a self-reflexive mischief that leads us to think we're looking at one thing then reveals we're really looking at another, often closer to home than we were expecting. I for one didn't reckon on WiFi making an appearance in a book about interiors.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Wrong title 5 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not what I expected- its mainly about royalty and the upper classes and how their 'style' affects the aspiring middle class. I hoped for something more insightful.
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