The House of Fiction

The House of Fiction : From Pemberley to Brideshead, Great British Houses in Literature and Life

3.52 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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From the gothic fantasies of Walpole's Otranto to post-modern takes on the country house by Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan, Phyllis Richardson guides us on a tour through buildings real and imagined to examine how authors' personal experiences helped to shape the homes that have become icons of English literature.

We encounter Jane Austen drinking 'too much wine' in the lavish ballroom of a Hampshire manor, discover how Virginia Woolf's love of Talland House at St Ives is palpable in To the Lighthouse, and find Evelyn Waugh remembering Madresfield Court as he plots Charles Ryder's return to Brideshead.

Drawing on historical sources, biographies, letters, diaries and the novels themselves, House of Fiction opens the doors to these celebrated houses, while offering candid glimpses of the writers who brought them to life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 39mm | 444g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1783526939
  • 9781783526932
  • 45,432

Review quote

'A lively tour of fictional property' The Times, Books of the Year

'A fascinating tour of real and literary bricks and mortar ... [Richardson's] research is formidable. Her book does much more, though, than track real architectural detail in made-up houses. It reveals key imaginative shifts in British authors' attitudes to homes over the years' Sunday Times
'The real houses that haunt English fiction' Guardian
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About Phyllis Richardson

Phyllis Richardson has written several books on architecture and design, including the highly successful XS series, Nano House and Superlight. She has written on architecture, urban development and travel for the Financial Times, the Observer and DWELL magazine. She is currently the co-ordinator of the Foundation Year in English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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Rating details

42 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 12% (5)
4 48% (20)
3 26% (11)
2 10% (4)
1 5% (2)
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