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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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... letters caused this book to be written: six love-letters and one letter home from a brother in the Army. They are the only remaining personal papers of a French-woman called Célestine Chaumette, and GillianTindall 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 ...


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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... put all your foes together in a building and set fire to them; it has also happened in history. At many points throughout The Intruder fantasy and reality come together in this way. In the preface, GillianTindall 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 ...

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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... Jolley has done to earn her growing reputation could do worse than to start here. To grieve for a baby who will never be born is one thing: to grieve for a child known and lost quite another. GillianTindall’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 ...


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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... revenge for the indignities they imposed on all men with less than £1000 a year. Of course it was a woman who frustrated any hope he might have had of going to Oxford and becoming a true Classic. GillianTindall, 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 ...

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