BBC Books £8.99
Coast By Nick Crane
Drawing on Nick Crane's experience as a presenter of the BBC series Coast, this is an intellectual beachcomb around Britain's coastline; part geography, part geology, part natural history, part social history.
Crane is an engaging guide, finding stories everywhere, from the fate of Doggerland (the land bridge that once connected Britain to mainland Europe) to the lives of Cornish sardine fishermen, to the Stone Age fishers of the Hebrides, to the building of military defences along our shorelines, to sacred spaces such as "Seahenge" near Holme-next-the-Sea. The chapter on wrecking and smuggling is alone worth the entrance fee. The book conveys how our coast is integral to British identity but is also a liminal space where different rules apply – and makes you realise how lucky we are to have such a rich and fascinating coastline.
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