18 Folgate Street: The Tale of a House in Spitalfields

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Chatto & Windus, 2001 - History - 275 pages
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Introduction by Peter Ackroyd.
An enchanted time capsule transports us back to the 18th century and brings an old house to life.
Growing up in California, Dennis Severs fell in love with the England he saw in old black and white movies. In 1979 he bought a run-down house in Spitalfields and over the next twenty years he filled it with objects and furniture found in local markets. He wanted his visitors to feel they were stepping through time, into an old master painting. He invented a family to live in it, the Jervis family, Huguenot silk-weavers who arrived from Nantes in 1725. Before Dennis died in 1999 he put the stories of the house, the Jervis family and his own life into this book. It is illustrated throughout by photographs taken by his niece, Stacey Shaffer, using the natural light that Dennis loved.
The Dennis Severs House is run by the Spitalfields Trust and is open to visitors.

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Contents

Prologue
1
Out and In This House and Your Senses
2
At Liberty
13
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Born in California in 1948, died in London in 1999. He came to live in England in 1967. Ran tours of London in a horse-drawn carriage. Then bought 18 Folgate Street and created his own 'still-life drama' of life and the house as they used to be.

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