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Three Houses, Many Lives

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A Cotswold vicarage, a former girls' boarding school in Surrey and a Jacobean house now buried in inner London -- these three houses represent the changing face of England over four centuries through the lives of the many people who lived in them.

Many lives indeed, from the wealthiest to the poorest. The pages of Gillian Tindall's fascinating new book teem with pen portrai
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Chatto & Windus
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Angela Reeves
Jan 01, 2017 Angela Reeves rated it did not like it
very boring
Jakey Gee
Nov 27, 2016 Jakey Gee rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
As someone with a pathological sentimentality about certain houses (usually associated with childhood), this ought to be close to a dream formula for me - at its best. I also know Stapleton Hall / the Hornsey area well, and the Surrey school and Cotswold vicarage also feel generically recognisable.

It's best when Tindall can give us the macro story that accompanies all the detail she does glean. So, when the railways do come, or when the army stops taking any old toff post-Crimea and triggers a
Dec 23, 2012 Erik rated it did not like it
Shelves: history, awful
Meaningless and poorly-contextualized nostalgia written in limp, passive prose. Even if, for some reason, you really really like old English manor houses, don't bother buying this - someone will surely pick you up a copy or four at the gift shop of some other musty, flower-wallpapered house museum.
Feb 17, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
I enjoyed how the author was able to uncover the histories of the three houses by painstaking research and in particular, her explanations of how their structures and uses were altered over the centuries in response to the vast social and economic changes that occurred.
Sarah Harkness
Jul 03, 2013 Sarah Harkness rated it liked it
Shelves: nelly
Very readable, but ultimately its about three unconnected houses, none of them with any famous inhabitants. and I'm not sure how interested I would have been if it wasn't for the parallels with my Nelly project
Oct 30, 2013 Mary marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Unfinished. I' ve got too many books to read so I can't justify finishing this. It looked so good on the blurb but really didn't live up to expectations
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Gillian Tindall began her career as a prize-winning novelist. She has continued to publish fiction but has also staked out an impressive territory in idiosyncratic non-fiction that is brilliantly evocative of place.

Her The Fields Beneath: The History of One London Village which first appeared thirty years ago, has rarely been out of print; nor has Celestine: Voices from a French Village, published
More about Gillian Tindall...

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