Whether you prefer a Kindle, tablet or the ‘old-fashioned’ book, Cornwall has inspired authors for decades.

Their resulting novels are the perfect way to capture the spirit and splendour of Cornwall. Here’s five we’d recommend – and of course, you can stay with us and experience ‘the real thing!’

For an epic saga on both page and screen, Poldark is hard to beat.

The original novels are penned by Winston Graham, filmed in the 1970s with Robin Ellis in the lead role. The BBC recently rehashed the series with Aidan Turner starring as Ross Poldark.

Starting in the late 1700s, this vast story of love, betrayal and copper mines captures the endless intricacy of Cornish politics and history.


An enduring Gothic tale of mystery, love and the power of the sea are beautifully captured in Rebecca, written by Daphne du Maurier.

Set around the 1930s era, this tale about mysterious lady of the manor Rebecca de Winter has unexpected twists and turns.  Several films and television versions have been created but the book is by far the best way to enjoy this classic tale.

The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher tells the story of Penelope Keeling, who, following a bout of illness, examines her past against the stunning backdrop of the Cornish countryside and coast. The book was nominated by the British public in 2003 as one of the top 100 novels in the BBC’s Big Read and takes its title from a painting featured in the plot. 

If you love a bit of mystery, then The Lighthouse by PD James is one for you. Part of the Adam Dalgliesh series, the detective investigates the death of a famous writer on a remote and inaccessible island off the Cornish Coast.

This particular ‘episode’ of the Dalgliesh mysteries was published in 2005 and an absorbing page-turner with Cornwall as one of its key themes.

And it’s not just grown-up authors who’ve been inspired by Cornwall! The Mousehole Cat, written by Antonia Barber, is an atmospheric tale of Old Tom, a Cornish fisherman, and his cat Mowzer, who bravely faces the wrath of Great Storm-Cat in order to save their village. With beautiful illustrations by Nicola Bayley, this is a classic tale for younger (and older!) fans of Cornwall and it’s complex maritime heritage.

Cornwall is just incredible and the above are just five books which have captured its beauty; the real Cornwall can be experienced here at Penbugle.

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