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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families and a 100 years of German History Seminar

Reverend Dr James Parkes
6 December 2016
Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email The Parkes Institute at .

Event details

Part of The Parkes Institute's Research Seminar Series for 2016/17

The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families and a 100 years of German History

In the summer of 1993, Thomas Harding travelled to Germany with his grandmother to visit a small house by a lake on the outskirts of Berlin. It had been her ‘soul place’ as a child, she said – a holiday home for her and her family, but much more – a sanctuary, a refuge. In the 1930s, she had been forced to leave the house, fleeing to England as the Nazis swept to power. The trip, she said, was a chance to see it one last time, to remember it as it was. But the house had changed. Nearly twenty years later Thomas returned to the house. It was government property now, derelict, and soon to be demolished. It was his legacy, one that had been loved, abandoned, fought over – a house his grandmother had desired until her death. Could it be saved? And should it be saved?

The “House by the Lake” is a groundbreaking and revelatory new history of Germany over a tumultuous century, told through the story of a small wooden house. Breathtaking in scope, intimate in its detail, it is the long-awaited new history from the author of the bestselling “Hanns and Rudolf”.

'A passionate memoir about Germany' - Neil MacGregor

'Superb... a remarkable book' - Tom Holland

Photo of Thomas Harding
Thomas Harding, Author and Journalist

Speaker information

Thomas Harding , Author and Journalist. Thomas Harding is an author and journalist who has written for the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, among other publications. He co-founded a television station in Oxford, England, and for many years was an award-winning documentary maker. He also ran a local newspaper in West Virginia, winning the West Virginia Association of Justice’s Journalist of the Year Award, before moving back to England in 2011, where he lives with his family. His #1 internationally bestselling book HANNS AND RUDOLF was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award in 2013 and won the JQ-WingatePrize in 2015. It has been translated into more than eighteen languages and has been optioned to be made into a film. His book, KADIAN JOURNAL, was published in June 2014 by William Heinemann (Random House UK) and will be published by Picador (USA) in 2017. His latest book, THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE, was published in September 2015 by William Heinemann (Penguin Random House UK) and by DTV(Germany), Picador (USA) and three other languages in 2016. It was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award in 2015 and longlisted for Orwell Prize 2016.

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