Wish You Were Here: England on Sea
By Travis Elborough
A fascinating look into how and why the English love to be beside the seaside.
In this gloriously original social history, Travis Elborough argues that our national character - our snobbishness and willingness to laugh at ourselves, our attitudes to sex and fair play and our chequered relationship with national pride - has been forged against a backdrop of stormy skies and pebbly beaches. Covering everything from Agatha Christie to the Prince Regent via Billy Butlin and Brighton Rock, this is a book for anyone who has ever wrestled with a deckchair, braved a sopping esplanade or felt the crunch of sand in a sandwich.
Descending from a line that pioneered pirate-themed eateries and shell-shaded electric lamps, Travis grew up in Worthing on the Sussex coast. It is quite hard to grow up in a place where almost everyone else has gone to die.
He is the author of two acclaimed books, The Bus We Loved and The Long-Player Goodbye. He lives in London.
- Other details
- Publication date:
12 May 2011
- Page count:
Elborough is an English nostalgist in the mode of John Betjeman... as a cultural commentator [Elborough] is a terrific companion... Wish You Were Here is quirky, chatty, charming and optimistic - an ideal read for the English beach. — Frances Wilson, Sunday Times
Meticulously researched and trenchantly expressed, Wish You Were Here is as bright and breezy as a trip in a pleasure steamer. — Daily Mail
[Elborough] has done his research thoroughly and writes with enormous wit and feeling. His book punches far above its weight in both style and substance. — Mail on Sunday
a charming study of our national beachside frolics — Independent
Timely, bittersweet beach reading — Telegraph
The perfect beach book — Marie Claire