Book Title: The Frayed Atlantic Edge : A Historian's Journey from Shetland to the Channel
Author: Stephen Bown
Format: Hardback | 400 pages
Publication Date: 11 Jul 2019
The story of a breathtaking kayak journey along the weather-ravaged coasts of Atlantic Britain and Ireland, undertaken by a leading historian and nature writer. In a book of staggering range and beauty, read how wind, rock and ocean have shaped the diverse communities of coastal Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.
Over the course of a year, leading historian and nature writer David Gange kayaked the weather-ravaged coasts of Atlantic Britain and Ireland from north to south: every cove, sound, inlet, island. The story of his journey is one of staggering adventure, range and beauty. And one which reveals how the similar ingredients of wind, rock and ocean have been transformed into wildly different Atlantic cultures in coastal Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. For too long, Gange argues, the significance of coasts has been underestimated, and the potential of small boats as tools to make sense of these histories rarely explored. This book seeks to put this imbalance right.
Paddling alone in sun and storms, among dozens of whales and countless seabirds, Gange and his kayak travelled through a Shetland summer, Scottish winter and Irish spring before reaching Wales and Cornwall.
Sitting low in the water, as did millions in eras when coasts were the main arteries of trade and communication, Gange describes, in captivating prose and loving detail, the experiences of kayaking, coastal living and historical discovery. Drawing on the archives of islands and coastal towns, as well as their vast poetic literatures in many languages, he shows that the neglected histories of these stunning regions are of real importance in reconceptualising both the past and the future of the whole archipelago. It is a history of Britain and Ireland like no other.