A journey by sea along the western coasts of Ireland and Scotland in search of islands, both real and imagined.
In an old wooden sloop, Philip Marsden plots a course north from his home in Cornwall. He is sailing for the Summer Isles, a small archipelago near the top of Scotland that holds for him a deep and personal significance. On the way, he must navigate the west coast of Ireland and the Inner Hebrides. Through the people he meets and the tales he uncovers, Marsden builds up a haunting picture of these shores - of imaginary islands and the Celtic otherworld, of the ageless draw of the west, of the life of the sea and perennial loss - and the redemptive power of the imagination.
The Summer Isles is an unforgettable account of the search for actual places, invented places, and those places in between that shape the lives of individuals and entire nations.
Philip Marsden is a writer and journalist. He is the author of several works of travel writing and non-fiction, including most recently Rising Ground (published by Granta in 2014), The Levelling Sea and The Barefoot Emperor, and a novel, The Main Cages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in Cornwall with his wife and children.
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