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A Guide to Literary Cornwall


Cornwall is rich in mythology and legend, as well as being a top tourist destination for its beaches and good surf. Known for its quaintness and mystery, it has a long tradition of inspiring literature.

We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite Cornish YA, authors who reside within its borders, great bookshops and perfect reading spots. Go forth and explore!

The Books

lisa glass collage

‘Blue’ series by Lisa Glass

A heart-seizing story that follows Iris both in and out of the water. Meeting star surfer Zeke in her hometown, Newquay, completely changes her world, and forces her to answer some difficult questions about herself and about her future.

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Not only does this have a swoon-worthy storyline, the heart of it is in the landscape and seascape. Set to a brilliant soundtrack, including the gorgeous ‘Tessalate’ by Alt-J, the story authentically represents its location and readers will feel like they’ve been on a summer holiday along the Cornish coast.

deep water

‘Deep Water’ by Lu Hersey

Much darker in tone. Lu Hersey draws on the strong mythological and ‘magical’ element that Cornwall offers. When Danni is forced to move in with her dad, the small Cornish town isn’t all that welcoming.

unwelcome

It’s a story of a haunting past, and a turbulent present. What exactly do these people have against her and her mother? Something fishy is afoot. (Pun intended).

Anna McKerrow 1

‘Crow Moon’ by Anna McKerrow

In a fantastically witchy Cornish setting, the author has expressed how the Witchcraft museum in Boscastle was a great source for this story of sorcery and dire straits.

the craft

Mystical writing that makes you taste the salt in the air, and has you scenting a storm on the wind.

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‘Kook’ by Chris Vick

Similar to ‘Blue’ this is one surfing trip you don’t want to miss. If you were ever curious about the different kinds of surfing cultures on offer, ‘Kook’ gives you great insight into that. Again, you get the chance to tour much of the Cornish coast and countryside, on foot, bike, bus and board. Surf’s up, dudes!

There’s much more to Cornwall than Poldark (sorry, Ross).

poldark

Honourable mentions:

honourable mentions

The Authors

Ah, the wonderful thing about Cornish YA is that many of the authors actually live and work out of the county.

Cornwall authors

From top left: Lisa Glass, Lu Hersey, Anna McKerrow, Liz Kessler, Emily Barr, Patrick Gayle, John Le Carre, Liz Fenwick. To name but a few!

Some favourite bookshops

The Falmouth Bookseller 3

The Falmouth Bookseller 2

The Falmouth Bookseller

As for favourite reading spots? You’re literally spoiled for choice. From the sandy beaches to the more rugged moorland, there is something for everyone. Where would we suggest?

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Boscastle is a great place if you want to explore a bit and find that perfect secluded reading spot.

Or maybe set yourself down in one of Cornwall’s many open gardens:

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This one is called ‘Glendurgan’.

And there’s always Tintagel Castle with Merlin’s Cave on the beach beneath it:

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Wherever you go there’s myth or mystery surrounding this slice of the country. In fact, there’s so much to see and do it’s almost too hard to settle down to read a book…

…HA! We lie. Books rule. That is all.

Is there a Cornish YA book you love, but we didn’t feature? A favourite reading spot? Tweet it to us @maximumpopbooks

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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