Join The Friends for another lively First Friday Book Club.
Editors Kate Kennedy and Hermione Lee are joined by wide-ranging contributors, including Simon Armitage, Julian Barnes, David Cannadine, Roy Foster, Alexandra Harris, Daisy Hay, Margaret MacMillan, Alexander Masters, and Jenny Uglow. In LIVES OF HOUSES, eminent novelists, poets, biographers and historians write about the homes of men and women who have shaped history. Historian David Cannadine, writes about Churchill’s Chartwell, and Julian Barnes writes about Jean Sibelius’s home. Edith Wharton’s grand house in America, Sir John Soames London home and W.H Auden’s apartment in New York are amongst many other famous houses discussed.
We encounter W. H. Auden, living in joyful squalor in New York's St. Mark's Place, and W. B. Yeats in his flood-prone tower in the windswept West of Ireland. We meet Benjamin Disraeli, struggling to keep up appearances, and track the lost houses of Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen. We visit Benjamin Britten in Aldeburgh, England, and Jean Sibelius at Ainola, Finland.
But Lives of Houses also considers those who are unhoused, unwilling or unable to establish a home from the bewildered poet John Clare wandering the byways of England, to the exiled Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera living on the streets of London.
What can a house tell us about the person who lives there? Do we shape the buildings we live in, or are we formed by the places we call home? And why are we especially fascinated by the houses of the famous and often long dead?
Much to be appreciated, and lots to talk about, making for a most interesting discussion with The Friends.