The Levelling Sea: The Story of a Cornish Haven and the Age of Sail
The story of Britain's glorious maritime past seen through the changing fortunes of the Cornish port of Falmouth. Before the 1560s, it was said that there was only one Englishman capable of sailing across the Atlantic. Within just ten years, after a maritime revolution, an English ship with an English crew was circumnavigating the globe. At the same time in Cornwall, in the Fal estuary, just a single building - a lime kiln - existed where the port of Falmouth would develop. By the end of the century, Falmouth would emerge as one of the busiest harbours in the world. In 'The Levelling Sea' acclaimed author Philip Marsden draws on his own deep connection with Cornwall, using the story of Falmouth's spectacular rise as a microcosm of British history. He writes unforgettably about the sea's unparalleled power; its place in history and in the imagination, and its unique impact on the history of Britain.
'His fond knowledge soaks through every page and his pitch-perfect feel for a phrase, plus a gift as sublime as James Hamilton-Paterson or Jonathan Raban's for describing water, lifts 'The Levelling Sea' far above ordinary to a state closer to poetry.' Sunday Times 'Simply a splendid book!Marsden's writing is delightfully honed as well as being profoundly well-researched. 'The Levelling Sea' is a microcosm of British history!this portrait of a port and its people sails deep into the reader's imagination' Sunday Telegraph '[A] wonderfully poetic exploration' Sunday Times [A] pacy narrative history ! A swashbuckling but not unserious exploration of bravery, politics and "fortunes ! as liquid as the sea that yielded them"' Financial Times
Philip Marsden is the author of 'The Crossing Place: A Journey among the Armenians' (which won the Somerset Maugham Award), 'The Bronski House', 'The Spirit-Wrestlers: And Other Survivors of the Russian Century' (winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year Award), 'The Chains of Heaven' and 'The Barefoot Emperor'. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in Cornwall.