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Fringed With Mud and Pearls

An English Island Odyssey

By: Ian Crofton

Price: CAD $34.99


Imprint: Birlinn

288 Pages

9.2 X 6.1 ins

ISBN:  9781780276656 -- Hardcover

Publication Date: 11/02/2020

Greece has its sun-soaked Cyclades and Dodecanese; Scotland its Northern Isles and rain-drenched Hebrides and Ireland the Arans and Skelligs. And what has England got? The isles of Canvey, Sheppey, Wight and Dogs, Mersea, Brownsea, Two Tree and Rat. But there are also wilder, rockier places - Lundy, the Scillies, Holy Island, the Farnes. These islands and their inhabitants not only cast varied lights on the mainland, they also possess their own peculiar stories: the Barbary slavers who once occupied Lundy; the ex-major who seized a wartime fort in the North Sea and declared himself Prince of Sealand; the wrecked munitions ship off the Isle of Sheppey that one day might unleash an unimaginable cataclysm, and much more besides.

In this book Crofton embarks on a personal odyssey to the islands encircling England, exploring how some were places of refuge or holiness, while others have become locations for prisons, rubbish dumps or military installations. He also describes his encounters with island wildlife, from puffins to porpoises, and recounts the varied ways in which England?s islands have been formed, and how they are constantly changing.

After many years working for Collins, Ian Crofton is now a freelance author and editor based in London. His previous books for Birlinn include Scottish History without the Boring Bits and A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable.

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