Ever thought about all the people who lived in your house before you did? Well, come meet their type in this enthralling history of an ordinary British family home that digs up layer upon layer of past lives to illuminate our own times, our family life and our heritage.
This is the biography of a house, the history of a home. It's an ordinary house, an ordinary home, and ordinary people have lived in it for over a century. But start to explore what they did, who they were, what they believed in, what they desired and they soon become as remarkable, as complicated, as fascinating as anyone.
That is exactly what Julie Myerson set out to do. She lives in a typical Victorian terraced family house, of average size, in a typical Victorian suburb (Clapham) and she loves it. She wanted to find out how much those who preceded her loved living there, so she spent hours and hours in the archives at the Family Record Office, the Public Record Office at Kew, local council archives and libraries across the country. Like an archaeologist, she found herself blowing the dust off files that no one had touched since the last sheet of paper in them was typed. As she scraped the years away, she found herself embroiled in a detective hunt as gripping as any noir, and then in another and another…Bit by bit, she started to piece together the story of her house, built in 1877, as told by its former occupants in their own words and deeds. The book she has made of that story uncovers a lost 130-year history of happiness and grief, change and prudence, poverty and affluence, social upheaval and technological advance.
Most of us are dimly aware that we are not the first person to turn a key in our front door lock, yet we rarely confront the shadows that inhabit our homes. But once you do – and Julie Myerson shows you how – you will never bear to part from their company again. This is your home’s story too.
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"Myerson (has) achieved a work of art,...we are given intriguing insights into the lives of a remarkable range of people." -- Daily Telegraph
"absorbing...fascinating...a rich domestic history of the 20th century...brilliantly described...compelling..." -- Mail on Sunday
"as absorbing - and often entertaining - as any thriller...engaging....the result is a triumph" -- The Observer
"brilliant, a wonderful narrative, the stories are sometimes heartbreakingly sad, superb, marvellous .... unforgettably enjoyable, magic....wonderful book" -- The Specator
"fascinating." -- Sunday Times
'A heartfelt and humane endeavour that attempts to salvage ordinary London lives from forgetfulness.' -- Time Out
'Beautiful in its simplicity....an engrossing read' -- Guardian
'Her research and imaginative powers are equally impressive... in a narrative that is a fascinating disquisition on the word "home"'. -- Financial Times
'Part memoir, part historical fiction, part sleuth-like detective story...The people she unearths are as vivid as characters in a novel' -- Esther Freud, Daily Telegraph
Julie Myerson was born in Nottingham in 1960, read English at Bristol University and worked for the National Theatre and Walker Books before becoming a full-time writer. She has published five novels: Sleepwalking, The Touch, Me & the Fat Man, Laura Blundy and Something Might Happen (which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2003). She and her partner Jonathan have three children, all of whom have grown up in the house in Clapham.
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Book Description Flamingo, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. illustrated edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007148224