Gillian Tindall

The Pulse Glass
  • The Pulse Glass

  • 'A genius for a certain kind of social history that, in shining a light on one small place, illuminates a huge amount' Sunday Telegraph

    'An excellent suite of essays on transience and remembrance' Guardian

    A toy train. A stack of letters. A tiny pulse glass, inherited from her great-great-grandfather, which was used to time a patient's heartbeat before pocket watches... In this collection of essays from one of our most admired domestic history writers, Gillian Tindall examines seemingly humble objects to trace the personal and global memories stored within them, and re-animate the ghostly heartbeats of lost lives.

    Tindall brings her signature eye for domestic history to bear on the physical remnants of lives lost, recent and ancient, unearthing stories. This is an elegant and clear-eyed reflection on memory from one of our best history writers.

    'Elegiac... Tindall reflects on a lifetime's interest in historical recovery' The Telegraph

    'Tindall is a fine historian and writes with a wryness of everyday human foibles' The Times

Gillian Tindall is a master of miniaturist history, well known for the quality of her writing and the scrupulousness of her research; she makes a handful of people, a few locations or a dramatic event stand for the much larger picture, as her seminal book The Fields Beneath, approached the history of Kentish Town, London. She has also written on London's Southbank (The House by the Thames), on southern English counties (Three Houses, Many Lives), and the Left Bank (Footprints in Paris), amongst other locations, as well as biography and prize-winning novels. Her latest book, The Tunnel through Time, traced the history of the Crossrail route, the forthcoming ‘Elizabeth’ line. She has lived in the same London house for over fifty years.


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