A History Of Cornwall Paperback – 12 Jan 2008
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About the Author
Literary scholar and Cornwall historian, Frank Ernest Halliday, was born in Yorkshire. He taught English and History at Cheltenham College before moving to St Ives, in Cornwall, where he settled permanently and devoted his time to writing books. His vigorous, uncluttered and well informed work includes numerous volumes on Shakespeare, as well as studies of Thomas Hardy, Geoffrey Chaucer, Robert Browning, Doctor Johnson and William Wordsworth.
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Top customer reviews
This is one of many errors, omissions and fantasy that pepper this so-called 'essential guide' to Cornwall's history.
So we have barely anything on the Cornish language; Anglo-Cornish wars reduced to mere rebellions, with key Cornish players hardly mentioned; constant erroneous references to Cornwall as a County etc. Nefarious characters like the appalling Anthony Kingston, who along with his death squads, was responsible for the slaughter of hundreds and hundreds of Cornwall's population warrants only a few sentences. People like that (and their masters) changed Cornwall's history forever.
History is there to be had and there's no excuse for misinformation and shoddy research/writing which I'm afraid this book has in spades.
For a more factual, indepth (though not perfect) look at Cornwall's history and constitutional status, Philip Payton's Cornwall: A History is to be recommended over Halliday's.
The book makes a somewhat unpromising start, with the rather twee assertion that Neanderthal man was "an unattractive-looking creature, shaggy, shuffling and ape-like" whilst Cro-Magnon man was "a splendid example of humanity, both physically and mentally". This being on the first page was not the best of starts. However, things quickly improve, and is probably a reflection of views at the time of writing. I also felt the author was possibly slighlty biased in the brief discussions of Reformation in the Tudors chapter. However, this is not a major problem.
A particularly interesting thread that runs through the book is the development of tin (and coppper) mining in the county, from the Classical period to its final end in the 1990s. Hence this book will be of much interest to mining historians and others.
Overall, I would commend this book to anyone who wishes to delve into the history and culture of Cornwall, and go beyond the somewhat superficial view often presented elsewhere.
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