chapter  10
An architecture of twenty words
Pages 15

On a warm spring afternoon, I retraced Sylvia Plath’s route from the zoo in

London’s Regent’s Park to her home in the North London suburb of Primrose

Hill. Passing playing children, mothers with prams, nannies with their charges,

young women hurrying home with bags of groceries, I felt like an intruder

stumbling into the perfect domestic theatre of Primrose Hill’s Chalcot Square.

The square is surrounded by late nineteenth-century terrace houses, cheerfully

painted in pastel colours. Number 3’s façade is an all-too-sweet lilac that dis-