It’s World Book Day, and here at Seasalt HQ we love nothing better than snuggling up with a good tale to entertain us!
Many writers have been inspired by Cornwall and its rugged landscape: authors such as Daphne Du Marrier, John le Carre, William Golding and Winston Graham have all used the Cornish coastline in some way, shape or form in their work.
In celebration of World Book Day, here are our top 10 books inspired by the sea:
The Sea’s in the Kitchen by Denys Val Baker
Originally from Wales, Baker made his home in Cornwall in 1948. Much of his work portrays the life of the artistic community of Cornwall, a scene which still thrives today, and used his own life as a basis for his writing – The Sea’s in the Kitchen is just one novel illustrating his love of the Duchy.
The Odyssey by Homer
Homer’s epic poem depicts the journey of Odysseus, a veteran soldier of the Trojan War, as he sails through the seas of Europe to get home. The protagonist meets a whole array of gods and monsters on his voyage – including the dangerous yet enchanting land of the sirens who lure sailors to their death.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953, and set in the Gulf Stream, Hemmingway’s classic novel is about the battle between an old fisherman and a large marlin fish whose unlucky streak for catching fish takes a dramatic turn.
The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber
Set in the lovely village of Mousehole in West Cornwall, this beloved children’s book tells a tale of a fisherman and his loyal black and white cat Mowzer, who decide to sail rough seas in order to catch some fish for their Star-Gazy Pie.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Now considered one of the great works of American Literature, this novel tells us the story of the most famous fictional whale in history.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Recently adapted into a gorgeous film by Ang Lee, Life of Pi is about a young boy who survives nearly a year at sea with just a Bengal tiger for company. It’s a tough struggle for survival, but Pi makes it back to land alive.
Treasure Island by RL Stevenson
Setting sail in search of treasure, Jim Hawkins meets an interesting array of characters aboard the Hispaniola. Watch out for Long John Silver – he’s a slippery character!
Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo
Much of Morpurgo’s work is set in the West Country – mostly in his home county of Devon, but Why the Whales Came moves the action further south to Bryer on the Isles of Scilly. Set at the beginning of World War One, two friends race to save a stranded whale on the beach.
The Mermaid’s Purse by Ted Hughes
An anthology of poems which brings together a wonderful array of creatures who live in the sea including starfish, seagulls and you might even spot a mermaid.
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier
Like Morpurgo, a lot of Du Maurier’s work is set in Cornwall. This novel takes place during the 17th century, Frenchman’s Creek depicts a tempestuous love affair between an English lady and a French pirate.
So, get reading! Do you have a favourite novel inspired by the sea?