Friday, June 5, 2015
Reading England 2015 - Cornwall Calling
Of all the English counties Cornwall is the one I feel most familiar with even though I've never actually been there except as an armchair traveller. Adventuring with the Famous Five and immersing myself in Rosemary Sutcliff's historical world when I was very young and later loving the Gothic Romances of Victoria Holt and Madeleine Brent, Susan Howatch's wonderful family saga Penmarric and let's not forget Daphne du Maurier and Winston Graham.
I've been recording the new series of Poldark and saving it to watch as I revisit Cornwall this month. I remember the old one well, especially Angharad Rees as Demelza, and keeping my fingers crossed that this one will live up to expectations. I've borrowed Poldark's Cornwall from the library to read along with it.
When we were making our lists for Reading England Jane recommended the following title which I hadn't heard of but am really looking forward to.........no fiction this time, I'm going walking!
Rambles Beyond Railways: or Notes in Cornwall Taken A-Foot by Wilkie Collins
In 1850 Wilkie Collins and his artist friend, Edward Brandling, set out on a walking tour of Cornwall. At the time the railway stopped at Plymouth and travelling further west meant sailing to St Germains....but not for long.
This account of their travels with illustrations by Brandling was published in 1851 and in a second edition the following year Wilkie notes ' Since this work first appeared, the all-conquering Railway has invaded Cornwall; and the title of my book has become a misnomer already.'
So I am ready to walk...
'...walk, and be merry; walk, and be healthy; walk, and be your own master! - walk, to enjoy, to observe, to improve, as no riders can! - walk and you are the best peripatetic impersonation of holiday enjoyment that is to be met with on the surface of this work-a-day world.'