About the Author

Jay Lawrence grew up in a rambling 300-year-old house, divided since the 19th century into flats, offices and workshops, but with many cracks and tunnels and lost rooms through which a child could glimpse moments of its long history.

“I remember one door behind a cupboard which led to a forgotten clerk’s office, long since filled with paperwork dating from the 1830s onwards.  A crusted inkpot and pen still rested on the top of the standing desk, and under a drift of letters, contracts, maps and inventories three foot deep I found the cinders of the last fire in the hearth, and a little dish on the fender with the ashes of the clerk’s lunch, as desiccated as Miss Havisham’s wedding feast.

I suppose I’ve been burrowing through dry documents to the lived past ever since.”


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