Frances Spalding

What Lies Beneath

Three Houses, Many Lives

By

Gillian Tindall is gifted with an archaeological imagination. She is haunted by the hidden or partially obscured, by traces and fragments that, if carefully investigated, can reanimate the past. She is especially good at looking at corners of cities – in previous books, Kentish Town, Southwark and Bankside – in order to discern what lies beneath. Whereas we might look with disaffection at sheet-glass office blocks, dreary industrial buildings, car parks, and wasteland dense with litter, she sees merely a palimpsest, in which old buildings have been rubbed out to make way for new. With X-ray eyes, she uncovers layers of history in all its diversity. 

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

    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,