The Summer Isles is a gazetteer of toponyms that conjure a scintillating watery world
Marsden brings characteristic elegance and insatiable curiosity to bear on his voyage; we are whisked along as passengers, alternately enchanted by this unforgettable coastline and apprehensive of its treachery. Even the most dogged land lubber cannot fail to be exhilarated by these stiff salt breezes
A truly remarkable writer
From the Same Author
When Philip Marsden moved to a remote, creekside farmhouse in Cornwall, the intensity of his response took him aback. It led him to wonder why we react so strongly to certain places and set him off on a journey on foot westwards to Land’s End through one of the most myth-rich regions of Europe.
From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions at Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay region to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of Britain’s attitude to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other enthusiasts before him – medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his travels from further afield, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our own history but of man’s perennial struggle to belong on this earth.
Philip Marsden on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
‘The greatest problem with the recent enthusiasm for tree-planting is disease. Large-scale projects mean large-scale movement of tree stock, which in turn has helped spread a number of highly contagious arboreal pathogens.’
Essays & Memoir | Granta 102
‘Never by any chance will any wanderer from the world discover him in that illimitable wilderness.’