John Murray £8.99 (277pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 0870 079 8897
Sunshine, By Robert Mighall
Friday 15 May 2009
The perfect beach book, as long as your preferred resort is Serifos rather than Scarborough, Sunshine is a counterblast to The Cloudspotter's Guide. Mighall explores the heliophilic tendency in English culture from Philip Sidney (whose association of sun and love is likened to the Manic Street Preachers) to, unexpectedly, George Orwell.
A shame he overlooks PG Wodehouse, whose Elysian comedies almost always take place in a cloud-free setting. Mighall cites the sun in Wordsworth, Donovan and the Beatles, though he omits Lennon's rhythmically brilliant critique of UK weather: "If the sun don't come, you get a tan from standing in the British rain."
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