Winner Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Award 2014
‘Wonderful… a cabinet of curiosities’
BBC Coast presenter Nick Crane
A collection of photographs, discoveries and natural history that is by turn atmospheric, quirky and fascinating. Many of the photographs are glimpses of the mercurial sea around Cornwall’s shores in all its moods, from jewel-like pools to waves powering into cliffs.
Woven in with these is Lisa’s haphazard museum of finds – the often strangely beautiful things she has picked up on Cornwall’s shores, along with any curious or interesting findings from her subsequent research. There are some wonderful names: by-the-wind sailors, a warty venus, landlady’s wig – and some extraordinary creatures in this inter-tidal world, their lives at times violent, charming and bizarre.
There is much of the evocative and often mysterious language of the sea, with some beautiful old Cornish words and phrases: a lot of portents of bad weather – the sun-dog, the weather-eye, graving clouds – and a telling number to describe a fine misty drizzle.
There is also the odd maritime legend – fog-shrouded spirits foretelling storms, lost lands and legendary floods – and some wonderful oceanographers’ research: a science of washed up trainers, bath ducks, and fisherman’s boots lost at sea.
‘Quite simply the closest I have ever seen anyone come to describing the seashore in the way I feel the seashore.’
Sir Tim Smit, Eden Project
‘Beautifully and simply written, illustrated and designed. Her writing swings between personal, accessible and poetic narrative and informative natural history detail. Her passion shines from every page.’
Western Morning News
‘This incredibly beautiful book does a wonderful job of opening up the magnificent world of our marine environment, enabling people to learn and appreciate its beauty and importance.’
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
‘Manages to combine art with science and produce real magic.’
The Marine Quarterly
‘Everyone loved this book. It is delightful, imaginative, hugely informative and written with clarity, joy and enthusiasm. Beautifully constructed with striking photographs. A work of wonder.’
Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Award 2014 (judges’ summary)
‘This quirky book is guaranteed to surprise, enlighten and inspire.’