Cornwall, one of Britain's most popular tourist destinations, is also one of the least well understood. In Cornwall today, there is a greater recognition of Cornish identity, and the close Celtic ties with Wales and Brittany, than ever before. But its Celtic history co-exists with a thousand years of political and cultural influence from England. Imagined as both Celtic country and English county, Cornwall is a land of contrasts. This book traces the creative tensions produced by its unique history, from an independent British kingdom through a culturally distinct medieval province and a prominent industrial region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to its present location as a post-industrial paradox: nation, region and county all wrapped in one.
Bernard Deacon is a lecturer in Cornish studies in the Institute of Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter, Cornwall.