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Mr. Michael Chappell (Kernow/Cornwall)
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Towards a Cornish Philosophy: Values, Thought, and Language for the West Britons in the Twenty-First Century
Towards a Cornish Philosophy: Values, Thought, and Language for the West Britons in the Twenty-First Century
by Alan M. Kent
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.33

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I felt as though I was peering into a mirror!, 31 Dec 2013
I opened this book wondering what to expect. Several hours later and having read it cover to cover, I discovered in its 74 pages, a remarkably intuitive insight into the mind-set of the indigenous Cornish.

With its striking and amusing cover design, this latest offering from Dr Kent, probably Cornwall's pre-eminent academic and author, represents an examination of the deepest held views, perceptions and outlook of many Cornish people and for me, it was like peering into a mirror. Of course, this is hardly a surprise bearing in mind Alan Kent's Cornish credentials.

Across 12 chapters, there is an examination of the Cornish and indeed Celtic feeling for a sense of place and the environment, of the strange attachment to cromlechs and stones both ancient, reconstructed and modern, of the unique linguistic traits, a mixture of language, dialect and opinion developed and used by the people, the links with the sea, the need for ancestry and folk memory, the strong, dry humour of the Cornish and their abiding view of the ancient border with South West England.

Dr Kent examines that Cornish difference - a different way of viewing life and of spiritual beliefs and ritual too; of the almost open acceptance of Pagan ways modified sometimes by Methodism and Christianity and made part of Cornwall's rich cultural calendar; the idea of Nation without State, of an outward looking European stance and of the romantic notions which have affected and become the mainstream view.

That there is a Cornwall and a Cornish way of life at all is remarkable following years of attempted assimilation by a larger and perhaps more brash and materialistic neighbour. Nevertheless, this book reveals that there is a Cornish philosophy, a Cornish view and that while this persists the Cornish will continue to exist and to constantly step up and answer the never ending calls for them to justify themselves.

A fascinating read for the Cornish, other Celts and for all those wishing to know what it is to be Cornish.

MJC


Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall and Scilly, 4000BC -1000AD
Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall and Scilly, 4000BC -1000AD
by Craig Wetherhill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.35

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential book for those who love Cornwall, 30 Nov 2012
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Written by one of Cornwall's most renowned authors and archeologists, this book remains a masterpiece and a standard reference for those who seek the real and often hidden history of Cornwall.

With an engrossing introduction and then a wonderful directory of Cornwall's many ancient sites accompanied by drawings, plans and photographs, I treasure this book and value what I have learned from it.


A Christmas Game
A Christmas Game

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely engrossing read!, 30 Nov 2012
This review is from: A Christmas Game (Paperback)
I purchased Cheryl Hayden's book on Thursday and by Friday evening had read it!

A completely engrossing read which takes one back to the events of 1549 in Cornwall, bloody events which involved the lives of thousands, cost the Cornish 11% of the population and all because of the whims of the English Monarchy and church.

Priests were hanged and even a Mayor after he had dined and without warning!

Referred to by some as the 'Cornish Holocaust', Cheryl Hayden has written a novel of epic proportions set against the background of the imposition of what were, in effect, foreign ways and alien beliefs on the people of Cornwall and seen through the eyes of ordinary and fearful folk of that time who were caught up in the maelstrom.

Romance and heroism, written in a style which very much echoes those terrible times, still fresh in the minds of many in Cornwall.

This book comes highly recommended by the cream of Cornwall's academia and novel lives up to every such review.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many memories, sad, tragic but also fond!, 24 Nov 2012
What a wonderful little book. It brought back many memories, sad, tragic but also happy, of those who proudly pulled on the uniform of the then Constabulary, silver buttons and shiney boots and did their duty to the very best of their abilities. What kind, helpful and knowledgeable police officers they were. A generation now gone who policed by true consent without aggression and without the militaristic paraphernalia of today's police. It was just as dangerous back then as the story in this book shows. I worked with many of those named in this true story in those days when the armour was still shining and the steed ready to gallop. Many congratulations and indeed thanks to Jim Moran for setting down the account of this tragic day in the history of Cornish policing.


Children's History of Cornwall
Children's History of Cornwall
by Peggy Burns
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 4.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An impressive book for Children (and uneducated adults !) revealing the truth about Cornwall, a Celtic Country, 2 July 2011
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Children's History of Cornwall by Peggy Burns
Hardback - 64 coloured pages - Publishers: Hometown World
ISBN 978-1-84993-136-6 9.99 or less from Amazon

This well presented and colourful children's book makes a refreshing change to the material previously available to the younger reader. Apart from a few minor factual errors, it is also remarkable in that it identifies Cornwall as an ancient Country, with its own Monarchs and an international border with England. It calls Cornwall `Kernow' on more than one occasion and even refers to the indigenous peoples as `Celts'.

It brings out Cornwall's unique relationship with its mines and the fact that Cornwall has been a very outward looking place from time immemorial. The `Cornish Celts' are shown to be a hardworking people, with their own Celtic tongue and place names. Cornish and Celtic mythology is covered but also refreshingly, the fact that the Cornish were and are not English and have fought hard against English rule and taxation down the generations. The Anglo Cornish Wars are covered, the Civil War, the coming of the industrial revolution and Cornish inventiveness, foodstuffs and even the Tamar bridge protest in 1998 ! The Gorsedh and Cornish customs and traditions are well illustrated and placed alongside developments which may affect our Country's future such as the discovery of gold and far more valuable minerals beneath us. Art, culture and tourism are featured as are traditional subjects such as smuggling, Methodism and St Piran and his peers.

I enjoyed each of its 64 colourful pages, its collection of photographs, cartoons, notes and column pieces and although aimed at children, it would make ideal reading for Celtic Cornish deniers.

Mike Chappell


Inspirational Journey
Inspirational Journey
Price: 21.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review of Inspirational Journey, 7 July 2009
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This review is from: Inspirational Journey (Audio CD)
Inspirational Journey

music by Sue Aston

I cannot think of more pleasurable listening than Sue Aston's magical and atmospheric violin music and all else that accompanies it.

I have recently purchased Sue's CD - `Inspirational Journey' and settled down to listen intently to every one of its 11 tracks. The music oozes with images of Celtic Cornwall. As I looked through the complimentary material which came with the music, I was taken to places far away, a Cornwall which exists both in place and time, an ancient but contemporary land.

The strings are harmoniously and seamlessly complemented by keyboard and other instruments to paint musical pictures intrinsically linked with Cornwall and its landscape, its people and their folklore. Every one of the musical tracks means something and each carries their own unique story. Traditional Cornwall is brought right here into the 21st century by modern beat and tempo but one cannot escape the echoes of a glorious ethereal Celtic past which haunts every composition.

As a composer and teacher of music, Sue Aston is surely in touch with the vibrant revival of Celtic music in Cornwall, as an instrumentalist she expertly brings those compositions to life in an emotional and classical form. Her work reverberates from her West Penwith home and is surely without equal.

Sue's music has featured on many television programmes and radio stations, she has worked internationally with, amongst many others, Yehudi Menuhin and Nigel Kennedy, but to me, the one thing which counts above all else is her intimate connection with Cornwall and the Cornish.

I cannot wait for the release of the follow on album which will add to my growing collection of her music.


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