A Romance at the Land’s End


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  • Beautifully written by an acclaimed natural history author with a deep love of his native Cornwall
  • New introduction by Bert Biscoe.
  • Will appeal to everyone touched in any way by Cornwall’s magic and to all lovers of a wonderful story.

Set in the countryside near Penzance in the early nineteenth century, this engaging novel chronicles the fortunes of the narrator, John Penrose, a farm labourer’s son. Peopled with a gallery of deftly drawn characters – squires, sextons, vengeful gypsies and gamekeepers – it tells of young Jack’s adventures, from poaching on the moors and falling in with smugglers to hiding in a cave and a near-fatal skirmish. Throughout, the author’s intimate knowledge and love of his native Cornwall shine through, in lyrical evocations of the countryside and coast and in vivid descriptions of wildlife – foxes, badgers, seals and a host of other creatures. A thoroughly entertaining read, John Penrose offers a fascinating and memorable portrait of life in rural Cornwall.

John Coulson Tregarthen (1854-1933) was a gifted field naturalist, described as ‘the best loved Cornishman of his time . . . the man who enshrined the spirit of his county’. After a career as a teacher, he was encouraged to take up writing by the romantic novelist Marie Corelli. All his books are rooted in the area known as the Land’s End and exhibit an unrivalled knowledge of the local countryside, its people, customs, flora and fauna. J.C. Tregarthen was President of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (1927-29), a Fellow of the Zoological Society, a county councillor and JP, and was made a bard at the Cornish Gorsedd in 1928. He is buried at St Columb Major. Bert Biscoe is a highly respected poet, songwriter and Cornish politician. A bard of the Gorsedd, he writes poems, tales and songs about Cornwall, and is a tireless champion of Cornish literature. Drawn to Tregarthen’s portrayal of the natural world, he is eager to promote the rediscovery of ‘this tremendous literary treasure’.

‘My legacy to Cornwall’

Of John Penrose, J. C. Tregarthen wrote: ‘My hope is that the book will appeal to every son of Penzance, and to the solitary dwellers in the western parishes, and – may I add? – on remote ranches and lone mine settlements beyond the seas. I have tried to hold aloft the torch of local patriotism, and to hand down my recollections of my beloved land. It is my legacy to Cornwall.’

Category: Fiction

RRP: £8.99

Publication: September 2004, Paperback, 320 pages, 228 x 152 mm, (9 x 6 in)

ISBN 978 190 4880 02 8

BUY NOW to purchase ‘John Penrose’ directly from our partners, Wordery.