Book Reviews - Sallie Eden Book Reviews 2011

The Levelling Sea – Philip Marsden

Written by Roseland author, Philip Marsden, this book is described as “the story of a Cornish Haven in the Age of Sail”. Illustrated with photos, engravings and maps and with extensive notes about source material; the result of serious and extensive research, The Levelling Sea outlines the history of Falmouth’s major families, its harbour and its rise in stature as a world sea port.

It is a real tribute to Philip’s skill as a writer that he has translated scholarly research into a readable and interesting book with wider appeal than a first glance might suggest.

But this is not just based on academic research, it’s also the result of a curious mind and the desire to “walk a new path”. Many of the places described are quite unknown to the majority of residents and visitors,yet are only a few miles from the Roseland, for example the Jewish Cemetery in Falmouth.

Verdict: Part autobiography – there are glimpses into the author’s own life, his family and interests – part biography – the Killigrew family and others – and part seafaring history. The book is masterly ****

Philip Marsden is also the subject of this month’s “Writers Talking”

Leave a Comment