Gillian Tindall

Furnishing the Past

The Memory Palace: A Book of Lost Interiors

By

Portobello Books 351pp £25 order from our bookshop

Four years ago, Edward Hollis produced The Secret Lives of Buildings, a wonderfully erudite romp through some of the world’s most famous, much-altered constructions, from the Parthenon to Notre Dame, via Hagia Sophia and the Alhambra, San Marco, the Wailing and Berlin Walls and even the disastrous Hulme crescents of Manchester’s postwar redevelopment. En route, he was able to address the central issue that has perennially divided conservationists: should we shore up battered buildings with their layers of history intact or should we return them creatively to what we suppose them to have been at some chosen moment in their chequered histories? With this question at the book’s heart and a whole world of examples to choose from, an author of Hollis’s calibre could hardly go wrong.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,