When the anthropologists arrive, so the saying goes, the gods depart. There are places, though, where myth and magic held out; where phantom islands on the horizon and fairies under the earth endured for longer. Among them are the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, which Philip Marsden (who has a degree in anthropology) explores from the sea in The Summer Isles, which is out this week in paperback.
It’s a wonderful book, and was one of my favourites of 2019. Like one of those doorways so popular in Irish myth, it’s a portal not just to other places but to other times. It’s a reminder, too, as Marsden puts it, that “the imagination is the oddest of human faculties, and also perhaps the greatest”.
Thanks to the author, you can read an extract from the book here on Deskbound Traveller. And thanks to his publisher, Granta, I have five copies to give away. To be in with a chance of winning one, just retweet my mention of the competition on Twitter from either @kerraway or @deskboundtravel, or like and share my post about it on facebook.com/deskboundtraveller.
Terms and conditions
Entrants must retweet a mention of the competition on Twitter from @deskboundtravel or @kerraway, or like and share the post about it on the Deskbound Traveller Facebook page, by midnight on June 26, 2020. Each winner, who must be resident in the United Kingdom or Ireland, will receive one copy of the book. Winners will be selected at random and notified by July 1. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted. For more about Philip Marsden and his other books, see his website.