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The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Claire Harman, 16 November 1995

Célestine: Voices from a French Village 
by Gillian Tindall.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 286 pp., £17.99, April 1995, 1 85619 534 1
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... They are the only remaining personal papers of a French-woman called Célestine Chaumette, and Gillian Tindall found them in an otherwise almost empty house in the village of Chassignolles in Central France, where she and her family have had a summer home for more than twenty years. The little box containing the letters had been overlooked by whoever ...

Make-Believe

Patricia Beer, 8 November 1979

The Intruder 
by Gillian Tindall.
Hodder, 286 pp., £5.95
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Mother Can You Hear Me? 
by Margaret Forster.
Secker, 269 pp., £5.90
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Treasures of Time 
by Penelope Lively.
Heinemann, 199 pp., £4.95
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Wild Nights 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 134 pp., £4.50
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... many points throughout The Intruder fantasy and reality come together in this way. In the preface, Gillian Tindall states that she is not writing about identifiable people or places, yet what she relates is firmly based on actual events, including the final tragedy; it is also the stuff of nightmares. ‘History couldn’t possibly be true because it was ...

Growing up

Dinah Birch, 20 April 1989

Passing on 
by Penelope Lively.
Deutsch, 210 pp., £10.95, April 1989, 0 233 98388 0
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The man who wasn’t there 
by Pat Barker.
Virago, 158 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 0 86068 891 7
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The Sugar Mother 
by Elizabeth Jolley.
Viking, 210 pp., £11.95, February 1989, 0 670 82435 6
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Give them all my love 
by Gillian Tindall.
Hutchinson, 244 pp., £11.95, April 1989, 0 09 173919 5
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Storm in the Citadel 
by Kate Saunders.
Cape, 293 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 224 02606 2
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... a baby who will never be born is one thing: to grieve for a child known and lost quite another. Gillian Tindall’s deeply meditative Give them all my love explores a father’s mourning for the early death of his daughter Marigold, killed while hitch-hiking in France. The bereaved Tom begins his reminiscent narrative in a prison cell. He is a ...

Squalor

Frank Kermode, 3 February 1983

Gissing: A Life in Books 
by John Halperin.
Oxford, 426 pp., £18.50, September 1982, 0 19 812677 8
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George Gissing: Critical Essays 
edited by Jean-Pierre Michaux.
Vision/Barnes and Noble, 214 pp., £11.95, March 1981, 0 85478 404 7
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... a woman who frustrated any hope he might have had of going to Oxford and becoming a true Classic. Gillian Tindall, in her excellent general study of the novelist, shrewdly noted that the ‘guilty secret’ was a working-class crime. Its most absurd transformation in the fiction occurs in Born in Exile, when Godwin Peak suddenly flees from his college ...

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