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Features | Books Set in Cornwall


Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing is a new collection of bright and atmospheric stories that celebrate Cornwall, its landscapes, and its people... and I just happen to have a story included in it. To celebrate the release of this varied and inspiring collection of short stories, poetry, and beautiful woodcut illustrations, (and my first published work) set amongst the famous Cornish beaches and countryside, I have five recommendations for you of books set in that very same county.


For more short stories, Diving Belles by Lucy Wood is a collection of magical tales that draws inspiration from the coastlines of Cornwall and from local myths and legends. Wood masterfully weaves these influences together into an enchanting collection of stories that reveal magic in the every day and the every day in magic.


Monsters by Emerald Fennell, on the other hand, could not be more different. A darkly comic story for middle grade readers of two children who meet in a hotel in Fowey and bond over the darkness they both share. They obsess over local murders, investigating and re-inacting the grisly acts for fun. Monsters is a more disturbing take on seaside life.


A poetic and lyrical story, again rich with magic, A Year of Marvellous Ways tells the story of a ninety-year-old woman, living alone in a remote Cornish creek, until a young soldier washes up on her shore. This is one I haven't read yet but I've heard so many positive things about how beautiful and evocative the writing is that I can't wait to get to it.


Not Forgetting the Whale tells the story of the small village of St Piran, disrupted when a young man washes ashore on the beach, naked. The villagers all rush to help but the spotting of a whale at the same moment is seen as an omen of things to come. This is another book still on my TBR, which promises to be a funny and heartwarming read.


And, of course, how could I write a list of books set in Cornwall without mentioning perhaps the most famous one of all? Ross Poldark, the first in Winston Graham's extremely successful Poldark series, paints a picture both romantic and slightly more realistic of life along the Cornish coast during the late 18th century, and if you're one of the many people who enjoy the TV series, the book is certainly worth a read.

So many stories have been inspired by Cornwall, including many of Daphne du Maurier's works, to name just one very famous author I've missed out here. If you know of any more novels or short story collections set among these famous moors and coastlines, let me know in the comments! I'm always on the lookout for stories that celebrate my beautiful home county. And tell me about any books set where you live too! It's always interesting how stories set in places we're so familiar with can make us think differently of our own surroundings.

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