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Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet

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9781846149382: Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet
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'A thrilling celebration of lighthouses' i newspaper

An enthralling history of Britain's rock lighthouses, and the people who built and inhabited them

Lighthouses are enduring monuments to our relationship with the sea. They encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose was much more noble, conceived as navigational gifts for the safety of all. Still today, we depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland: twenty towers built between 1811 and 1904, so-called because they were constructed on desolate, slippery rock formations in the middle of the sea, rising, mirage-like, straight out of the waves, with lights shining at the their summits.

Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these magnificent, isolated sentinels, the ingenuity of those who conceived them, the people who risked their lives building and rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.

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Review:

A thrilling celebration...These monumental structures have saved countless lives and survived unimaginable natural forces, as well as the currents of political and governmental change. Their stories are more interesting than even I could have imagined (Rebecca Armstrong i newspaper)

This book is a hymn to the almost superhuman ingenuity, expertise and labour of the men who worked to made the wild seas safer (Guardian)

Meticulously-researched and fascinating ... Tom's love for structure and heritage, for intricate detailing and finishes, shines through (Irish Times)

A book to make you feel safe on a cold winter 's night. Pour yourself a glass of something warming, sit back and feel thankful you're not in one of these bizarre structures (Daily Mail)

Nancollas is intrepid and persistent. His book is a first-hand travel guide to seven places you almost certainly have no chance of ever visiting. (Bella Bathurst Spectator)

A watchful and meticulous writer...an expert on the construction and weathering of these unique buildings (TLS)

A deeply personal account, based on meticulous research - and I found it difficult to put down. Above all else, the author's affection and enthusiasm shine forth vividly (Francis Pryor)

With compelling narrative and fascinating historical anecdotes, Tom shines a spotlight on these little known but spectacular structures (Roma Agrawal)

Impassioned ... much more than a geeky history, it also helps us think anew about buildings, about heritage, and even about family (The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice)

Eloquent and well researched ... Lighthouses will never look the same again (BBC CountryFile Magazine)

About the Author:

Born in Gloucester in 1988, Tom Nancollas is a writer and building conservationist based in London. After university, he joined English Heritage to work on church repair grants before moving on to the City of London and its historic townscape. Of Cornish ancestry, Tom maintained a love of seascapes during his work in the capital and became fascinated with offshore rock lighthouses, finding in them a new way of looking at buildings, heritage and, unexpectedly, family.

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9781846149375: Seashaken Houses: A Lighthouse History from Eddystone to Fastnet

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