Mr B's review
Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018
Lighthouses are a striking, immediately recognisable symbol of our relationship with the sea. They are at once imaginatively romantic and solidly utilitarian. Seashaken Houses takes us on an immersive tour of the offshore rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland; a sumptuous book full of beautiful descriptions, celebrating the romance of lighthouses, their history, and the characters who built them and live within them.
Lighthouses are striking totems of our relationship to the sea. For many, they encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose was much more utilitarian than that. Today we still depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland which form a ring of twenty towers built between 1811 and 1904, so-called because they were constructed on desolate rock formations in the middle of the sea, and made of granite to withstand the power of its waves.
Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these singular towers, the people who risked their lives building and rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.
Intensely interesting * Engineering & Technology Magazine * Eloquent and well researched … Lighthouses will never look the same again * BBC CountryFile Magazine * Nancollas is intrepid and persistent. His book is a first-hand travel guide to seven places you almost certainly have no chance of ever visiting. — Bella Bathurst * Spectator * An impassioned history … much more than a geeky history, it also helps us think anew about buildings, about heritage, and even about family * The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice * A deeply personal account, based on meticulous research – and I found it difficult to put down. Above all else, the author’s affection and enthusiasm shine forth vividly — Francis Pryor With compelling narrative and fascinating historical anecdotes, Tom shines a spotlight on these little known but spectacular structures — Roma Agrawal Meticulously-researched and fascinating … Tom’s love for structure and heritage, for intricate detailing and finishes, shines through * Irish Times * A thrilling celebration…These monumental structures have saved countless lives and survived unimaginable natural forces, as well as the currents of political and governmental change. Their stories are more interesting than even I could have imagined — Rebecca Armstrong * i newspaper *