Gillian Tindall

Gillian Tindall began her career as a novelist: one of her early novels, Fly Away Home, won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1972. She has continued to publish fiction, and has contributed short stories and plays to Radio 4, but has also staked out a particular territory in non-fiction, especially in idiosyncratic historical studies centred on specific places. Her The Fields Beneath: the history of one London village, which first appeared almost thirty years ago, has rarely been out of print since; nor has Célestine: voices from a French village, published in the mid-‘90s and translated into several languages, for which she has been decorated by the French Government.

She has also published a seminal work City of Gold: the biography of Bombay (1982), which helped to set off the architectural conservation movement in that city. More conventionally-shaped biographies have been The Born Exile: George Gissing (1974) one of the first comprehensive studies of this haunting, late-Victorian novelist, and The Journey of Martin Nadaud (1999), which deals, among other themes, with the physical transformation of Paris in the nineteenth century. The place theme has also continued in her Countries of the Mind: the meaning of place to writers (1991). A more recent study, The Man who drew London: Wenceslaus Hollar in reality and imagination, employs the techniques of both biography and fiction, but her latest book, which appears in 2006 GT has published and will be called Across the Water from St Paul’s: The House by the Thames, and the people who lived there returns to the micro-historical approach of The Fields Beneath.

She has lived in the same house in London for the last forty years, with another home in an obscure part of central France. She can be reached via her agent, Curtis Brown Ltd.