A fascinating, lyrical account of an east-west walk across Britain's westernmost and most mysterious region.
A distant and exotic Celtic land, domain of tin-miners, pirates, smugglers and evocatively named saints, somehow separate from the rest of our island...
Few regions of Britain are as holidayed in, as well-loved or as mythologized as Cornwall. From the woodlands of the Tamar Valley to the remote peninsula of Penwith – via the wilderness of Bodmin Moor and coastal villages where tourism and fishing find an uneasy coexistence – Tim Hannigan undertakes a zigzagging journey on foot across Britain's westernmost region to discover how the real Cornwall, its landscapes, histories, communities and sense of identity, intersect with the many projections and tropes that writers, artists and others have placed upon it.
Combining landscape and nature writing with deep cultural inquiry, The Granite Kingdom is a probing but highly accessible tour of one of Britain's most popular regions, juxtaposing history, myth, folklore and literary representation with the geographical and social reality of contemporary Cornwall.
'An excellent and thought-provoking book... What could have been a scholarly theoretical discourse is thoroughly enlivened by Tim Hannigan's decision to turn it into a travel odyssey' TLS.
'Travel writing used to be dominated by Old Etonians with colonialist tendencies; but [Tim Hannigan's] well-researched critique shows that the "travellees" are writing back' Guardian.
'A highly readable and entertaining narrative' Lonely Planet.
'A deft piece of genre-hopping' Telegraph.
'A timely look at the genre – why we travel, and why and how we write about it' Irish Independent