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The Memory Palace

A Book of Lost Interiors

List Price: $16.95

July 28, 2015 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 320 pages | ISBN 9781619025622
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“Architect Hollis dazzles and dizzies the reader in this cultural history of interiors… Hollis’s book is a meeting place of ideas, history, objects, and personal interpretation…When the threads come together, the results are deeply satisfying.” Publishers Weekly

 

A brilliant, ambitious follow-up to The Secret Lives of Buildings, in which Edward Hollis turns his focus from the great architectural constructions of the past to the now-vanished chambers they once contained.

The rooms we live in are always more than just four walls. As we decorate these spaces and fill them with objects and friends, they shape our lives and become the backdrop to our sense of self. One day, the structures will be gone, but even then, traces of the stories and the memories they contained will persist. In this dazzling work of imaginative reconstruction, Edward Hollis takes us to the sites of great abodes now lost to history and, piecing together the fragments that remain, re-creates their vanished chambers.

From Rome’s palatine to the old palace of Westminster and the Petit Trianon at Versailles, from the sets of MGM studios in Hollywood to the pavilions of the Crystal palace and the author’s own grandmother’s sitting room, The Memory Palace is a glittering treasure trove of luminous forgotten places and the alluring people who lived in them.

EDWARD HOLLIS was born in London in 1970 and studied Architecture at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh before joining a practice, working first on ruins and follies in Sri Lanka and then on villas, breweries, and town halls in Scotland. He teaches at the Edinburgh College of Art.

Praise

“Architect Hollis (The Secret Lives of Buildings) dazzles and dizzies the reader in this cultural history of interiors… Like the interiors he’s celebrating, Hollis’s book is a meeting place of ideas, history, objects, and personal interpretation…the results are deeply satisfying.” —Publishers Weekly

“Hollis returns with a personal history of the ephemeral lives of interiors… The author takes us back to Palatine Hill in ancient Rome… discusses the significance of thrones, the Round Table, the King’s Bench and the design of the House of Commons… and he examines the evolution of the mass media, from the earliest TV sets to the iCloud… Eloquent and evocative evidence of the evanescence of all.” —Kirkus

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