Delivery update

Please be aware that some orders may take a few days longer than normal to arrive. See our delivery FAQ for more details.

These Silent Mansions

A life in graveyards

Jean Sprackland

(author)

Hardback
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.
In stock
SKU
9780224098359
Price £14.78 RRP £16.99

Worldwide delivery available. Read more...

All UK orders sent via tracked delivery

Return purchased items within 30 days for a full refund.

"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

These Silent Mansions: A life in graveyards A01 By (author) N Jean Sprackland 222 144 25 361 BB Hardback 240 Jonathan Cape Ltd Vintage Publishing London United Kingdom WN Natural history AMGD Memorials, monuments JHBZ Sociology: death & dying GM Museology & heritage studies RGC Human geography HRLF Worship, rites & ceremonies 1DBK United Kingdom, Great Britain 1.3 WN GLZ JHBZ RGC QRVJ1 Nature & the natural world: general interest Museology & heritage studies Sociology: death & dying Human geography Worship, rites & ceremonies 5HKV 1DDU Coming of age celebrations / festivals / rituals United Kingdom, Great Britain 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. Graveyards are oases: places of escape, of peace and reflection. Each is a garden or nature reserve, but also a site of commemoration, where the past is close enough to touch: a liminal place, at the border of the living world. Jean Sprackland's prize-winning book, Strands, brought to life the histories of objects found on a beach. These Silent Mansions is also an uncovering of individual stories: vivid, touching and intimately told. Sprackland 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. With her poet's eye, 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. 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. Part memoir, part nature study and part social history, Sprackland returns in this sensitive and unusual book to the graveyards of the towns and villages where she has lived... [Sprackland] connects us to the forgotten lives of those whose names, like Ebenezer and Chastity, are now eaten by moss and lichen...[and] discovers the tales...[of] collective history. -- Frances Wilson * Mail on Sunday * Each of these stories is told with Sprackland's keen eye for detail... It is beautifully written as I have come to expect with all of her books, she has immensely powerful prose. -- Paul Cheney * NB * A deeply pleasurable blend of poetic anthropology... Against the inevitable forces of erasure, this small book serves as an act of defiance. -- Claire Allfree * Evening Standard * To opened ground and graven stone Jean Sprackland brings a poet's scrutiny and the archivist's insatiable curiosity. She disinters the humanity buried in the humus; and how, as fungus and algae make the lichen bloom, the living and the dead must share the several geographies of time and memory, identity and story. These Silent Mansions, like silence "beyond silence listened for", rings remarkable and true. -- Thomas Lynch, author of The Undertaking Award-winning poet Sprackland takes a wonderfully wistful tour of her favourite cemeteries... A fascinating read. -- Eithne Farry * Sunday Express * Part social history, part personal meditation and wholly enchanting - as attentive to local and moving details as it is to the fact of mortality itself. -- Andrew Motion Sprackland has the poet's knack for atmosphere and a magician's ability to conjure up other worlds. She is like a ghostly time traveller... Sprackland is particularly agile, though, at exploring the ways in which a graveyard reflects its community and how, with modern life, we are losing this sense of connection. -- Ann Treneman * The Times * Shot through with delightful digressions... There is a spare beauty to Sprackland's prose... These Silent Mansions is a strange and mercurial book; hard to pin down, but even harder to forget. -- Lucy Scholes * i * Cemetery tales, filled with fascinating details and told with a poet's skill... Delightfully morbid... Sprackland roves about history, language, biology, architecture, entomology, iconography and much else in her quest for meaning... [and] the astonishing twist...should justify your reading These Silent Mansions in its entirety. -- Anthony Quinn * Guardian * A wide-ranging, unpredictable and refreshingly original meditation on a huge but widely ignored subject: the relationship between the living and the dead... Exhilarating... This is a lovely book: beautifully written, never lapsing into self-conscious 'poet's prose', always a joy to read. I wish I had written it myself. -- Nigel Andrew * Literary Review * Jean Sprackland's first book of non-fiction, Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach, won the 2012 Portico Prize. She is the author of five poetry collections, including Tilt, which won the 2007 Costa Poetry Award and, most recently, Green Noise (2018). She lives in London. 06022020 02 RRP including tax GB GBP 16.99 0.00 16.99 This price includes a tax element GB 20 Available 20 BERT GARD Y

Graveyards are oases: places of escape, of peace and reflection. Each is a garden or nature reserve, but also a site of commemoration, where the past is close enough to touch: a liminal place, at the border of the living world.

Jean Sprackland's prize-winning book, Strands, brought to life the histories of objects found on a beach. These Silent Mansions is also an uncovering of individual stories: vivid, touching and intimately told. Sprackland 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. With her poet's eye, 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.

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.

More Information
Book publisherVintage Publishing
Publication date6 Feb 2020
FormatHardback
Pages240
Write Your Own Review
You're reviewing:These Silent Mansions
Newsletter Fashion Box
WANT A DISCOUNT?