The Pinecone Hardcover – 6 Sep 2012
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Clearly focussed, wonderfully stimulating and surprisingly colourful. (Andrew Lycett Sunday Telegraph)
Uglow has produced a quiet masterpiece: a book to savour and treasure. (Miranda Seymour Sunday Times)
I don't know another book that feels quite like this one. (A. S. Byatt New Statesman Books of the Year)
It is a riveting story and Jenny Uglow makes the most of it. (John Martin Robinson The Spectator)
Jenny Uglow proves not only the importance of Sarah Losh, but shows what biography at its very best can do. (Frances Wilson Literary Review)
An exuberant match for the beautiful, ornate and movingly personal nature of Losh's extraordinary church. (Rachel Hewitt The Guardian)
The Pinecone by Jenny Uglow explores the love, life and craftsmanship of Sarah Losh and brings to life an extraordinary Romantic heroine, a region and an age.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
An interesting monograph on the church was compiled a few years ago by Stephen Matthews, owner of the excellent Bookcase bookshop in Carlisle, but I know he was delighted that Jenny Uglow became interested in Miss Losh; Jenny Uglow has an impressive list of good publications to her credit, and this book is elegantly written and as thorough as the sources allow. This latter point is really the only caveat (apart from a few typos): Miss Losh destroyed almost all her papers and so the author has to infer what she was like from the accounts of others and from the physical evidence contained in the church. There is much material about the extended Losh family, some of whom made a lot of money (and some of whom didn't), and figures as diverse as Wordsworth, Humphry Davy, George Stephenson and Lord Grey flit through these pages. What a small world it was in the early 19c.
A fine achievement, but how fascinating it would have been to explore Miss Losh's own papers and fill out her story.
Sarah Losh, intelligent, thoughtful, generous, was born into a respected and wealthy Cumbrian family. Much of her life only seems to be known to us at one remove. She is mentioned in the diaries and letters of her family, and the records and documents relating to the building of her church provide fascinating insights into the workings of her intellect and imagination and yet much about her remains tantalisingly opaque. In the diaries and letters we see her through the eyes of others but in her church we see her, perhaps, as she saw herself.
Sarah's family moved in exalted circles; Coleridge and Wordsworth were friends and they held influence with the great and the good of the North of England. They also followed the discoveries of their age. The early 1800s saw tremendous advances in science and industry with many of the innovations that reached fruition in the Victorian era - the extensive railways and the rise of the merchantile middle-classes for example - having their origins in the late-Georgian period. Behind the technological triumphs however there are fears and doubts. Lyle's work in the field of geology sows the first seeds of unease that will grow to fruition in the work of Charles Darwin. All of this fascinating intellectual and spiritual ferment somehow found expression in a small church in the north of England.Read more ›
Losh got much of her education courtesy of her Uncle James, who advocated various liberal policies including education for women.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointed in this book. Chose as my Reading Group choice & no one particularly liked it . I found it somewhat tedious.Published 13 months ago by bridget cuthbert
An interesting subject, but a book severely in need of a good edit.Published 15 months ago by k wilson
Straightforward, on time, as described.
My kind of shopping. Thanks
Fascinating book written in an accessible style, with a large background of associated information about the whole milieu of the subject. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rathers
I found this book fascinating, but it is possibly because I am familiar with the area; however I remember Andrew Marr rating this highly on TV, so it is probably just a very good... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Elizabeth Frazer
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