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About the book
  • Published: 31 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781446485712
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304


It is Gillian Tindall's gift, in her quietly remarkable book, to remind us how much of the past still lives in the present.

When Gillian Tindall discovered a cache of tightly folded letters in a deserted house in central France, recently emptied of 150 years of a family's possessions, she uncovered the obscure and moving life of one woman, Celestine Chaumette. This is Tindall's brilliantly original recreation of the vanished world of a French village.

  • Pub date: 31 July 2013
  • ISBN: 9781446485712
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Gillian Tindall

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, traces 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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Praise for Celestine

“[A] modest little book, well on its way to becoming a modern classic.”

John Campbell, Independent

“Rich, satisfying, warm and utterly vivid”

Mail on Sunday

“A wonderful book... [Her] history is acutely visual... The book is a masterpiece of miniaturist history”

Times Literary Supplement

“This is history at its most interesting and compelling”

Sunday Express

“No other living foreign writer has gone deeper into the psyche of rural France”


“A wonderfully evocative book... This is social history at its best”


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