Thursday 23rd June, 7pm
Venue: Rossiter Books, Ross on Wye
Tickets £6 (£3 redeemable against the book at the event)
Gavin Plumley considered himself a distinctly urban being…until he met his rural husband, Alastair. Together, they bought Stepps House – a three-storey building in Pembridge, Herefordshire – on love at first sight. But then came the inevitable question from an insurance salesman: ‘How old is it?’ With ancient beams crossing the ceiling, the date they’d been given of 1800 seemed out by centuries. As Gavin traced Stepps House through various hands and eras, he saw the picture of a past emerge that resonates powerfully with our present.
The book is a lyrical celebration of the village and the surrounding landscape, charting the course of an agricultural year and centuries of local customs and characters. A Home for All Seasons is both a sweeping history and an intimate tale of life on the edge of England born out of oral history, painstaking local research and a wider knowledge of economic, political and cultural concerns.
The Times named Gavin a ‘leading cultural historian’. His projects span various periods and disciplines, though he is known for his work on Central Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. He lectures widely and has recently given talks for the National Trust, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the National Theatre, the National Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, the British Museum, Tate, the BBC Proms, the Oxford Lieder Festival, Wigmore Hall (including his Inside the Score series and presenting Live Streams), the Royal Opera House, the Philharmonia and the CBSO, in addition to being an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society.