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Three Houses, Many Lives [Paperback]

Gillian Tindall
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2013

'A major achievement' Ronald Blythe, author of Akenfield

A Cotswold vicarage.

A former girls' boarding school in Surrey.

A Jacobean house now buried in inner London.

Three Houses, Many Lives tells the stories not only of the houses themselves but of the lives of the many people who lived in them. From Eugenia Stanhope who sold Lord Chesterfield's scandalous letters, to the autocratic vicar who held the same parish from age 28 to 82, from the just-literate wife of a parish clerk who wrote riddles in his registers, to the cow-keeper who farmed 226 acres in Hornsey till he sold them profitably when the railways came through. Gillian Tindall is a master of miniaturist history, making a particular place, person or situation stand for a much larger picture.

Frequently Bought Together

Three Houses, Many Lives + The House by the Thames: and the People Who Lived There + The Fields Beneath: The History of One London Village
Price For All Three: 22.85

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099547031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099547037
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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)

Book Description

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Balance not quite right 20 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gillian Tindall would have benefited from the strong hand of sympathetic editor who would have forced her to consider what is interesting and what is less so. Two aspects are good - her own recollections and her linking of the history of her chosen houses to broader social demographic and historical change. I can appreciate that the process of researching must have taken up a great deal of time but one of the things that authors have to cope with is that detailed accounts of the researching and the various processes of reaching conclusions do not always make for a good reading experience.

I live less than 10 minutes' walk from Stapleton Hall so I stuck with the detail of what had happened to Stroud Green and Crouch Hill, but even there I thought that less might have been more...

And I did enjoy The Fields Beneath, her earlier book on Kentish Town, where the author got the editorial balance right.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crouch End 17 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Anyone who fancies themselves a House Detective will fall for this. Sources such as the Inland Revenue's 1915 survey are mined effectively. If you know the Cotswolds (Windrush/Wychwood) or Finsbury Park and Ally Pally this will have you digging into your old town/street maps to refresh your memory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating real life history! 28 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Making history come alive not stuffy at all. It makes you want to visit these places if only time travel existed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great slice of history 2 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well written, gripping, greatly educational and a great slice of history. Ideal for people who are interested in finding out what things were really like.
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