I mentioned picking this up from the library on Monday, and thought it would be just the thing to read last night as I've been in a bit of a literary doldrums this week (although I'm sure that'll change as soon as I get my hands on something a bit different, which I'm waiting for Amazon to deliver). It wasn't exactly a great literary read, but it was HUGELY interesting, and I'm frustrated that the sequel is at the library headquarters store and won't be here before next week.
How many of you read Enid Blyton's Famous Five, in particular Five on a treasure Island, and envied George having her own island with a castle? Or loved Swallows and Amazons and the fun that could be had with boats and camps? Evelyn Atkins and her sister Babs had always hoped to own an island. Entranced by Cornwall after a holiday there, they bought a pair of cottages and set about retiring to Looe, when the island opposite their new homes came up for sale. They bought it for £20k in 1964.
The book chronicles the process of buying the island and relocating down to Cornwall, and taking their furniture and equipment across to the island. We also hear about Evelyn's pre-island life and work, which I found fascinating as I always enjoy a good autobiography. It's very informally written, as I said earlier, but if you love Cornwall or the idea of buying an island yourself, then this is a must read.
You can read more about Looe island and its history here.
1. If any of you watch the archaeological programme Time Team, you might remember that they did a dig there on the series shown earlier this year. My Dad was one of the historical experts on it! I wish I'd read the book sooner when he was telling me about the trip.
2. If anyone can recommend any other good Cornish reads I would be most grateful. DDM is a given obviously, and I've got Zennor in darkness on my pile for this summer.
Mavis Gallant’s “Madeline’s Bithday” (1951)
5 hours ago