Philip Marsden - Author

About the Author

Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, and The Levelling Sea. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Cornwall.

Featured books by Philip Marsden

Rising Ground A Search for the Spirit of Place

Rising Ground A Search for the Spirit of Place

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

When Philip Marsden moved to a remote, creekside farmhouse in Cornwall, the intensity of his response took him aback. It led him to wonder why we react so strongly to certain places and set him off on a journey on foot westwards to Land's End through one of the most myth-rich regions of Europe. From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions at Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay region to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of Britain's attitude to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other enthusiasts before him - medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his travels from further afield, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our own history but of man's perennial struggle to belong on this earth.

Rising Ground A Search for the Spirit of Place

Rising Ground A Search for the Spirit of Place

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2014

Why do we react so strongly to certain places? Why do layers of mythology build up around particular features in the landscape? When Philip Marsden moved to a remote creekside farmhouse in Cornwall, the intensity of his response took him aback. It led him to begin exploring these questions, prompting a journey westwards to Land's End through one of the most fascinating regions of Europe. From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions of Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay country to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of our shifting attitudes to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other 'topophiles' before him - medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his own travels overseas, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our history but of man's perennial struggle to belong on this earth.

Other books by Philip Marsden

Rising Ground A Search for the Spirit of Place

Rising Ground A Search for the Spirit of Place

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

When Philip Marsden moved to a remote, creekside farmhouse in Cornwall, the intensity of his response took him aback. It led him to wonder why we react so strongly to certain places and set him off on a journey on foot westwards to Land's End through one of the most myth-rich regions of Europe. From the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions at Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay region to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west, Marsden assembles a chronology of Britain's attitude to place. In archives, he uncovers the life and work of other enthusiasts before him - medieval chroniclers and Tudor topographers, eighteenth-century antiquarians, post-industrial poets and abstract painters. Drawing also on his travels from further afield, Marsden reveals that the shape of the land lies not just at the heart of our own history but of man's perennial struggle to belong on this earth.

The Crossing Place A Journey Among the Armenians

The Crossing Place A Journey Among the Armenians

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/2015

A revised and updated edition of Philip Marsden's classic travel book, published to coincide with the centenary of the Armenian massacres. After centuries of prominence as a world power, Armenia has withstood every attempt during the 20th century to destroy it. With a name redolent both of dim antiquity and of a modern world and its tensions, the Armenians founded a civilization and underwent a diaspora that brought many of the great ideas of the East to Western Europe. The Crossing Place is Philip Marsden's gripping account of his remarkable journey through the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus in a quest to discover the secret of one of the world's most extraordinary peoples. Caught between opposing empires, between warring religions and ideologies - at the crossing place of history - the Armenians have somehow survived against the odds. This is their story - told by one of the finest travel writers at work today.

The Levelling Sea The Story of a Cornish Haven and the Age of Sail

The Levelling Sea The Story of a Cornish Haven and the Age of Sail

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

The story of Britain's colourful maritime past seen through the changing fortunes of the Cornish port of Falmouth. Within the space of few years, during the 1560s and 1570s, a maritime revolution took place in England that would contribute more than anything to the transformation of the country from a small rebel state on the fringes of Europe into a world power. Until then, it was said, there was only one Englishman capable of sailing across the Atlantic. Yet within ten years an English ship with an English crew was circumnavigating the world. At the same time in Cornwall, in the Fal estuary, just a single building - a lime kiln - existed where the port of Falmouth would emerge. Yet by the end of the eighteenth century, Falmouth would be one of the busiest harbours in the world. `The Levelling Sea' uses the story of Falmouth's spectacular rise and fall to explore wider questions about the sea and its place in history and imagination. Drawing on his own deep connection with Cornwall, award-winning author Philip Marsden writes unforgettably about the power of the sea and its ability to produce greed on a piratical scale, dizzying corruption, and grand and tragic aspirations.

The Barefoot Emperor An Ethiopian Tragedy

The Barefoot Emperor An Ethiopian Tragedy

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2008

A fascinating narrative excursion into a bizarre episode in 19th century Ethiopian and British imperial history featuring a remote African despot and his monstrous European-built gun. On one of Addis Ababa's main roundabouts today sits a huge recently installed mortar. This is a replica of 'Sevastopol', a 70-ton lump of ordnance commissioned by one of the most extraordinary leaders Africa has ever produced - King of Kings of Ethiopia, the Emperor Theodore. In 1867, as his kingdom collapsed around him, Theodore retreated to his mountain-top stronghold in Magdala. It took his army six months to haul 'Sevastopol' through the gauges and passes of the highlands. Sixty miles to the north, a British expeditionary force under Sir Robert Napier - consisting of more than 10,000 fighting men, at least as many followers and 20,000 pack-animals, including a number of Indian elephants - had been ferried to the Red Sea Coast and built a railway line through the desert. Their object: to rescue the British consul and sixty Europeans, held prisoner by the increasingly erratic Theodore, who had taken to massacring his prisoners-of-war and pitching captives over the cliffs of Magdala. The resulting fate of Theodore and his mortar forms the climax to this strange extravaganza, in which an isolated medieval kingdom came dramatically face-to-face with an ascendant Europe. Philip Marsden tells the tale with all his proven narrative skill, deep love and first hand knowledge of Ethiopia.

The Chains of Heaven An Ethiopian Romance

The Chains of Heaven An Ethiopian Romance

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/08/2006

Philip Marsden returns to the remote, fiercely beautiful landscape that has exercised a powerful mythic appeal over him since his first encounter with it over twenty years ago. `Ethiopia bred in me the conviction that if there is a wider purpose to our life, it is to understand the world, to seek out its diversity, to celebrate its heroes and its wonders - in short, to witness it.' When Philip Marsden first went to Ethiopia in 1982, it changed the direction of his life. What he saw of its stunning antiquity, its raw Christianity, its extremes of brutality and grace prompted his curiosity, and made him a writer. But Ethiopia at that time was torn apart by civil war. The north, the ancient heartland of the country, was closed off. Twenty years later, Marsden returned. The result is this book - the account of a journey deferred. Walking hundreds of miles through a landscape of cavernous gorges, tabletop mountains and semi-desert, Marsden encounters monks and hermits, rebels and farmers. And he creates an unforgettable picture of one of the most remote regions left on earth. As in his award-winning book `The Spirit-Wrestlers', Marsden reminds us of the brilliant heights that travel writing can attain, whilst celebrating the ageless rewards of the open road and the people for whom the mythic and the everyday are inextricably joined.

The Main Cages

The Main Cages

Author: Philip Marsden Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2003

The acclaimed first novel by one of Flamingo's most gifted young writers, author of `The Bronski House' and `The Spirit Wrestlers'. Philip Marsden's brilliant first novel is set in the 1930s, in the small Cornish fishing village of Polmayne. A newcomer to the village, Jack Sweeney, buys a boat and establishes himself as a fisherman, gradually winning the respect even of the village elders. But times are changing, and a new kind of visitor is beginning to appear in Polmayne. A bohemian colony of artists offends some sensibilities, while a hotel is opened to accommodate the summer tourists, and pleasure steamers mingle with the fishing boats in the harbour. Yet, despite the superficial changes, the old ways and the old hazards of Cornish life endure. Offshore, just below the surface of the waves, lie the Main Cages, a treacherous outcrop of rock where many ships and many lives have been lost. Firmly rooted in a particular place and time, yet recalling in its universality such books as Graham Swift's `Waterland' and E. Annie Proulx's `The Shipping News', `The Main Cages' is a gripping story of love and death, and a remarkable fictional debut.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.philipmarsden.co.uk/index.html

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