The Pulse Glass is full of such reflections, sparked by various events in Tindall’s family history. It’s an elegant book, thoughtful and cool-headed, at once expansive and precise – a pebble thrown into the pool of the past, from which ripples extend continually outwards.
The result is a rather uneasy mixture of an oblique memoir and general musing on the transience of all things. Tindall is a fine historian, and writes with a wryness of everyday human foibles. I wanted more of her, and her eccentricities; more of the reasons why she keeps reams of old paper, more descriptions of why she has lived in the same house for half a century and more of her memories of her mother, her brother, and how their deaths affected her... It is a shame that in this book she mostly keeps herself in the shadows, hidden from view.