A Home for All Seasons – Gavin Plumley – Signed Copies
Gavin Plumley and his husband Alistair bought Stepps House in Pembridge, Herefordshire as somewhere to escape to when they weren’t living in the house that comes with Alistair’s job as a headteacher in Somerset. Stepps House was a conundrum; built over three floors and occupying a site that lies between the church and the market square it was a building that Gavin wanted to know more about. His initial research was ostensibly just to satisfy the questions of his insurers but the more leads that he uncovers the more convoluted the tale of Stepp’s House becomes.
Alongside the history of the house Gavin also writes of the seasons in that part of Herefordshire and how a largely rural life has been governed through history by both practical considerations and myth and custom. A cultural historian by profession Plumley reads the house in part via an association with the seasonal paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The lines he draws from Pembridge outwards are part real (the passage of trade through the village over the centuries, part the energy of ley lines and part the cultural lines and associations.
In tone Plumley’s book reminds me of Katharine Swift’s The Morville Hours and his writing style also brings the work of W. G. Sebald to mind. The text is peppered with images (again a reminder of Sebald).
Hardback. 324 pages.
16cm x 21.7cm x 3.2cm