Writer: Philippa Lewis

Behind the Lines 14

Behind the Lines 14

By Philippa Lewis

These are just insignificant sketches, but they remind me of the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques in 1937; by night it was a unique experience – mémorable. You see, one theme of the exposition was light and water: an expression of what could be achieved with the power of modern electricity,… Read More

Behind the Lines 13

Behind the Lines 13

By Philippa Lewis

I selected a distant meadow in the midst of an empty landscape, barren and forlorn, to make a retreat for myself…. No sooner was the house completed than I knew it was not far enough away from everything I wished to leave behind…Later I sold the house and grounds for… Read More

Behind the Lines 12

Behind the Lines 12

By Philippa Lewis

1870Colonel James Clifton-Brown, newly established at Holmbush, his Regency country house in Colgate, West Sussex, has political ambitions – namely, the parliamentary seat for Horsham. He observes that the villagers have only a small cramped chapel in which to fulfil their ambitions to be good Christians. The chapel is not… Read More

Behind the Lines 11

Behind the Lines 11

By Philippa Lewis

Robert Schnebbelie peered into the Egyptian Hall wondering what freak show was on view, and then set himself down next door outside the oil and Italian warehouse, Sherborn & Sams. He looked across Piccadilly at the entrance to Burlington Arcade that created a neat endstop to the long wall of… Read More

Behind the Lines 10

Behind the Lines 10

By Philippa Lewis

It was undoubtedly the doing of that ancient buffer Lutyens, Samuel Hardy reflected sourly, as he stared at the pages of the September 1932 issue of The Builder and saw an illustration of the winning entry. It showed Mr Edward H Banks of ‘Villa Desiré’, Downlands Road, Purley, Surrey’s awful concoction of… Read More

Behind the Lines 9

Behind the Lines 9

By Philippa Lewis

Cyril Ponsonby walked anxiously from where he was staying in Wilbury Road, Hove over to the Hotel Metropole on the Brighton sea front. It was 1907, a sunny day in early August. He was hot and bothered. Under his arm he held a sheaf of papers. He went through the… Read More

Behind the Lines 8

Behind the Lines 8

By Philippa Lewis

Annette Berthe Schlegel, wife of Adalbert, mother of Mariana, Friedrich, Werner and Elmira, and grandmother to little Wilhelm and Lydia, died peacefully in her cherry wood bed at home in Marienstrasse, Stuttgart, on March 29th, 1812. Adalbert, a successful watchmaker, had held Annette dear, and two weeks after the funeral… Read More

Behind the Lines 7

Behind the Lines 7

By Philippa Lewis

Mr. Tassie’s House On June 27th 1807 William Tassie scratched his long nose, dipped a pen in the inkwell, and finished off his letter to Alexander Wilson Esq of Messrs. Dunlop & Wilson, Booksellers of Glasgow:   ‘I have been near a twelve month engaged with alterations in my house –… Read More

Behind the Lines 6

Behind the Lines 6

By Philippa Lewis

Richard Bentley cracked open the red seal, smiling as he always did at the peculiar crest of a man in a ridiculous long-tasselled hat, and folded out the letter. His mood was anxious; he scratched his head nervously with one hand and knocked over the ink on his drawing table with… Read More

Behind the Lines 5

Behind the Lines 5

By Philippa Lewis

Boughton MonchelseaMaidstone September 26, 1828 My lord,  Please be so good as to find designs for the lodge that you commissioned, a habitation for your woodman, John Platt. I earnestly hope that it will be the ornament that you desired for your park improvements. I also enclose the books that… Read More

Behind the Lines 4

Behind the Lines 4

By Philippa Lewis

Isabella Puddefoot settled herself on the sofa, picked up her embroidery, and after enquiring about his day at the bank, remarked to her husband Samuel: ‘I do declare I am quite spent; running up and down stairs all day is very trying to my constitution. It is eight flights from dealing… Read More

Behind the Lines 3

Behind the Lines 3

By Philippa Lewis

“Lord, Fanny, I had such a very strange encounter this morning. It being a Friday, I was delivering muffins down to that mad Lady Lewson in Cold Bath Square – her maid says she never washes and is most provoking – and as I was walking along the wall by… Read More