Sarah Winman: The Books that Inspired A Year of Marvellous Ways

Sarah Winman: The Books that Inspired A Year of Marvellous Ways

County Cornwall – Claude Berry

In this book, Claude Berry reminisces about his childhood in Padstow. He writes knowingly about the landscape of the county, about religion, customs and traditions, and industries both Past and Present. The book was published in 1949, so was very useful in giving me the correct time/place foundation for Marvellous.

The Red Rocks of Eddystone – Fred Majdalany

This is the story of how a lighthouse came to be built in the middle of the English Channel, about thirteen miles south-west of Plymouth harbour. It is the story of four men, four lighthouses and two hundred years of vision and endurance. It is so thrilling. I just love this book!

‘Amongst Heroes: The Artist in Working Cornwall’

This is actually the catalogue for an art exhibition that I saw in January 2013 at Two Temple Place, London: a brilliant representation of the lives of fishermen, miners, farmers and blacksmiths by some of the most influential artists working in Cornwall during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Our Cove: Victorian Life in a Cornish Fishing Village – J Henry Harris

This is what the title says it is: a beautiful homage to a bygone era, with – at times – wonderfully odd language to match, which my imagination gratefully took hold of.

Oh, For a Fisherman’s Life – Alfred John Pengelly

An autobiography of a Looe sherman, with old photographs and insight into fishing and village life from the early 1900s.