Robert Mighall is hopelessly addicted to sunshine. He climbs ladders to catch the last rays of the descending sun and takes regular sun breaks during the working day, joining the smokers outside for his own furtive fix. An obsessive, yes, but he is only an extreme example of our national type. Sunshine explores this obsession. It explains how sunshine became a symbol of health, hope and freedom in the early 20th century, and why we have much to thank the nudists for. It explores why sunshine gives us pleasure, the rites and rituals of modern sun-worship, and how this love affair finds expression in the books we read, the films we watch, and the songs we hear every day. Witty, romantic and absurdly obsessive, Sunshine illuminates something everybody loves, yet nobody has attempted to capture between two covers. It is also an open love letter to the most fickle mistress northern man ever served.
Robert Mighall was the editor of the Penguin Classics series (1997-2000), and before that a fellow in English at Merton College Oxford. He is currently a senior consultant and writer at a London design and branding agency, occasional journalist and inveterate sun-worshiper. He is the author of A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction (OUP, 1999), and has introduced and edited the Penguin Classics editions of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He lives in London, but wishes it was somewhere further South.