Feature: Historian Gillian Tindall at Highgate Branch Library on January 19

Published: 12 January, 2012

Her book The Fields Beneath became the seminal work on the life and times of Kentish Town, and a template for future social histories.

Historian Gillian Tindall’s book, first published 36 years ago, has gone through various reprints and is still a must-have for any bookshelf in NW5 – and its author, who has turned her investigations to such topics as a biography of the novelist George Gissing, a tome on the history of a small French village and another called City of Gold, which traces the development of Bombay, will be discussing her work this week.

Gillian (pictured) is the guest of the Friends of Highgate Library in Chester Road, Highgate Newtown.

She told the New Journal that The Fields Beneath, though written a generation ago, describes a place we still recognise: “Kentish Town has not changed as much as people think since I wrote the book.

“It was predicted that it would either become horribly gentrified like Chelsea, or turn into an urban jungle.

“Streets around my home in Leighton Road are not as gentrified as people assume: the council bought up street properties and while some have been [lost] because of Thatcher’s right to buy, it still has a social mix.”

• Gillian Tindall appears at 7pm at the Highgate Branch Library, Chester Road, Highgate Newton, N19, on Thursday January 19. Free entry.


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