One of Britain's foremost writers of place takes an evocative journey along the western coast of Ireland and Scotland to chart the perennial allure of this perilous and myth-rich stretch of sea
From the acclaimed author of Rising Ground, this is the story of a sea voyage to the Summer Isles, an enticing, periodically inhabited archipelago off the Scottish Highlands. To reach them, Marsden must head north, sailing a course along the exposed and exhilarating western coasts of Ireland and Scotland. It is a course that has been followed for centuries by explorers and adventurers, fishermen and monks, all drawn to the western seas and their distant horizons. But as much as the journey of men, this book is about the journey of ideas: of nostalgia and a very particular kind of geographical yearning; of a culture and language that has been shaped by its dramatic topography; of the local legend and lore that live on to this day. Combining travel writing, memoir and cultural history, The Summer Isles is a book about the search for real places, for imagined places, and for places that might always exist somewhere in between.
Philip Marsden is a writer and journalist. He is the author of several works of travel writing and non-fiction, including most recently Rising Ground (published by Granta in 2014), The Levelling Sea and The Barefoot Emperor, and a novel, The Main Cages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Cornwall with his wife and children.
Social & cultural history