The Levelling Sea, By Philip Marsden

 

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The Independent Culture

As travel writer and narrative historian, Marsden has the knack of linking the local and the global, the near and the far. This book about his own watery backyard - Falmouth in Cornwall - follows the history of town and port.

It depicts the salty characters who turned a piratical hideaway into the bustling corner hub of an "Atlantic village".

First rogue gentry and buccaneers, then explorers, admirals and missionaries, put this marshy backwater on a world map. Lyric interludes traces the author's romance with the sea, a love "as powerful as any human attachment".

In its smartly-rigged history and biography, the book has the episodic charm of a voyage under sail.

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