These Silent Mansions is an elegant, exhilarating meditation on the relationship between the living and the dead, the nature of time and loss, and how – in this restless, accelerated world – we can connect the here with the elsewhere, the present with the past. It is an uncovering of individual stories: vivid, touching and intimately told. Jean travels back through her own life, revisiting graveyards in the ordinary towns and cities she has called home, seeking out others who lived, died and are remembered or forgotten there. She makes chance discoveries among the stones and inscriptions: a notorious smuggler tucked up in a sleepy churchyard; ancient coins unearthed on a secret burial ground; a slow-worm basking in the sun.
‘Fascinating details told with a poet’s skill’ The Guardian
Jean Sprackland is Professor of Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair of the Poetry Archive, the world’s premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work. She has worked as a consultant and project manager for organisations involved with literature and education. She won the Costa Poetry Award in 2008. Her books have been shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the TS Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Award. Praise for Strands (2012 Portico Prize for Non-Fiction)
“Elegant memoir…this beautiful book is only a tide’s whisper away from being on a beach itself and feeling the wind in your hair and the sand between your toes.” The Economist
“Compelling…well-contextualised, sharply-observed, clued up, environmentally aware and deeply researched.” The Independent