Is the "West Country" on the map or in the mind? Is it the south-west peninsula of Britain or a semi-mythical country offering a home for those in pursuit of the romance of wrecking, smuggling and a rural Golden Age? This book investigates these questions in the context of the relationship between place and writing, discussing Thomas Hardy's Wessex; R.D. Blackmore's Exmoor and "Lorna Doone"; Charles Kingsley, whose "Westward Ho!" became a Devon place-name; Sabine Baring-Gould of Dartmoor, recorder and inventor of West Country folk-tales; and Parson Hawker of Morwenstowe, an inventor of the Cornish King Arthur.
The late Simon Trezise was a lecturer in literature at the University of Exeter and had worked as a Tutor-Counsellor for the Open University. He lived and worked in many parts of the West Country.