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  Top » Catalog » Pages » Reviews
The Francis Boutle Book Of Cornish Short Stories

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Reviewed by Gwyn Griffiths in Morning Star, 23 November 2010

The short story thrives on that edge where older traditions clash with modernity. It also tends to do well in working-class communities devoid of the time and luxury to write novels. This is not to denigrate the genre. And this is certainly not the case with this superb collection of stories set in Cornwall, mostly written by writers born, bred and living there.

Cornwall of course looms large within that space. And there is much that is recognisably Cornish - mining, fishing, tourism, surfing, rugby, exile, Bob Fitzsimmons and religion - in the stories assembled by Alan Kent and Derek Williams. There are also tales of the supernatural included - AL Rowse's The Stone That Liked Company was my favourite.

Placed in a conveniently chronological order, the first story The Bohelland Tragedy - written anonymously in 1618 - is about a man who kills his own son thanks to a conniving stepmother. The final story, by Stacey Guthrie, is set in 2096.

The allegoric John Of Chyanhor by Nicholas Boson (1624-1708) translated from the Cornish is a gem. So too is EV Thompson's tale of rugby mayhem The Day The Cup Came To Trescoppa. It is another great story in a memorable collection.

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Regular Cornish language classes with Mick Paynter.

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First Sunday of every month, Redruth. Shout with the Red River singers.

until 27 May 2017, Camden, London. An exhibition of the works of Lancelot Ribeiro.

25 April 2017, Camden, London. Ribeiro Rediscovered, a talk by David Buckman.

12 May 2017, Redruth. Launch of Celebrating Pevsner New research on Cornish architecture.