Cornwall has its own language, culture, outlook and a powerful individuality. Its scenery is unique in Britain and to see a remotely similar countryside one must travel across the sea to another Celtic bastion, Brittany It is also a place where reality is far more fascinating and diverse than popular images suggest. Hidden coves, where smugglers and wreckers lurked, and dubious Arthurian fantasies tend to dominate the visions of outsiders or ‘up-country’ folk; as a result, the real Cornish landscape and history have been strangely neglected by the general public. For this series of four National Trust histories, author Jack Ravensdale has provided a colourful and authoritative account of the Cornwall which holidaymakers so often miss. He describes its evolving landscape, the people who have laboured there over the centuries, and the remarkable portfolio of monuments which is their legacy. Indeed, Cornwall’s heritage of prehistoric small tombs and circles could scarcely be surpassed. If, in contrast, the Roman endowment is meagre, the region possesses some intriguing medieval castles, several quite exceptional mansions, and an astonishing collection of industrial relics. Add to these a coastline that is the equal of any, and a folklore as rich and unlikely as can be, and the true nature of Cornwall begins to emerge.