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

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,