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  • Published: 24 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473566934
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

The Pulse Glass

And the beat of other hearts

A personal and global history in objects, Gillian Tindall traces the memories and meanings that accrue to the artefacts of human lives through time.

*As read on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week*

'A genius for a certain kind of social history that, in shining a light on one small place, illuminates a huge amount' Sunday Telegraph

A toy train. A stack of letters. A tiny pulse glass, inherited from her great-great-grandfather, which was used to time a patient's heartbeat before pocket watches... Gillian Tindall, one of our most admired domestic history writers, examines seemingly humble objects to trace the personal and global memories stored within them, and re-animate the ghostly heartbeats of lost lives.

'Elegiac... Tindall reflects on a lifetime's interest in historical recovery' The Telegraph

'Tindall is a fine historian and writes with a wryness of everyday human foibles' The Times

  • Published: 24 October 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473566934
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

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, traced the history of the Crossrail route, the forthcoming ‘Elizabeth’ line. She has lived in the same London house for over fifty years.

Also by Gillian Tindall

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Praise for The Pulse Glass

Elegaic... Her books are carefully wrought acts of restoration... In The Pulse Glass, Tindall, now aged 81, reflects on a lifetime’s interest in historical recovery

Francis Wilson, The Telegraph

Tindall writes with affecting precision... Reading this book feels like looking out of the window on a long train journey. One is lulled by the rhythms into deep reflection and inexplicable nostalgia for the lives and landscapes of others

Jessie Childs, History Today *Books of the Year*

An excellent suite of essays on transience and remembrance... Gillian Tindall is a high-minded Autolycus, devoted not merely to snapping up the “unconsidered trifles” of past lives but holding them to the light to glean the stories they might conceal

Anthony Quinn, Observer

Tindall specialises in the overlooked, the underappreciated. She is very much a local historian, if you take that to mean that everything local can become universal; that the stories of ordinary people are as worth telling as the grand, the famous, the notorious... Tantalising... Tindall is a fine historian and writes with a wryness of everyday human foibles

Emma Hogan, The Times

Gillian Tindall has a richly furnished mind, as full of pigeonholes and secret drawers as an old-fashioned Victorian desk… Tapping at floorboards, exploring cellars, leafing through yellowing love letters…she unearths what she can about the worlds we have lost

Christina Hardyment, Times Literary Supplement

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