Cornish & Celtic Books and Publications

Cornish & Celtic books and publications brings to your attention recent books and publications that we have bought or looked at, which may be of interest. These are mostly non-fiction and informative books together with some from smaller local Cornish society and group organisations that may not get their titles into the mainstream.

It does not constitute a recommendation from us. These will be available from publisher, organisation or from a retailer's site.

We are adding a page of independent booksellers in Cornwall where books relating to Cornwall and Cornish themes can be purchased. This will include those that sell vintage and used books as well as new books. Click - Cornish Booksellers

Illuminating our Lantern Crosses

Both these books are available from the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies online bookshop. Click the above or book image to reach access the relevant page

Ancient and High Crosses of Cornwall

Illuminating our Lantern Crosses

Authors: Andrew Langdon & Ann Preston-Jones

This book presents a small group of late medieval Cornish crosses and is the first to describe and illustrate Cornwall’s late medieval lantern crosses in detail. ‘Lantern’ crosses have never been fully acknowledged as part of the remarkable repertoire of medieval crosses in Cornwall, yet they represent an important collection, showing cross-carving alive and well in Cornwall until the Reformation.

This book presents a small group of late medieval Cornish crosses. 'Lantern' crosses have never before been fully acknowledged as part of the remarkable repertoire of medieval crosses in Cornwall, yet they represent an important collection, showing cross-carving alive and well in Cornwall until just before the Reformation.

A4, 227 pages, with 161 figures including many B&W photos, line drawings, antiquarian images

Ancient & High Crosses of Cornwall

Authors: Ann Preston-Jones, Andrew Langdon & Elisabeth Okasha

An illustrated guide to one hundred of the finest early Cornish stone crosses, dating from around AD900 to 1300.’ This beautifully produced book reveals just how greatly Cornwall is blessed to have so many splendid examples surviving.

The academic rigour is impressive as is the care with which the images have been taken. It is easy to ‘snap’ anything when you happen to be there, with frequently inadequate results. Each of the featured crosses has been visited by Anne Preston-Jones and Andrew Langdon at appropriate times of day (and year when overhanging trees and shrubs preclude good photography) to ensure suitable lighting which reveals the detail so well. Besides that, it makes the book visually attractive, of course. In addition to its Introduction, there is a Historical overview, a look at Inscriptions (found on seventeen crosses), Cornish groups or schools of stone sculpture, sections on Dating, and the Function of crosses. Antiquarian study and restoration is reviewed, and a Glossary (with illustrations) is provided. Postcodes and National Grid References are shown for each of the 100 crosses described and illustrated, as are References to earlier published sources. Additionally, the book has an extensive Bibliography and a proper Index.

278 pages, illustrations (colour), bibliography, index

PZ 77 A Town A Time A Tribe

PZ77 - A Town, A Time, A Tribe

Author: Simon Parker

A brilliant new book by Simon Parker which tells the tale through many voices of Penzance in 1977 - when The Ramones played The Wints, supported by Talking Heads - a wave of young angry bands swept through the town. It's a book which talks about belonging, celebrates the Cornwall of modern youth thought the eyes of the men and women they've become 

...and there may be other stories to be told of other tribes and other towns, and here's a model of how to do it - a meisterwerk!

Bert Biscoe - Truro November 2022

Click to Download and read Bert Biscoe's fuller book review

For those interested in Cornish language books Spyrys a Gernow (Spirit of Cornwall) is a Cornish language publishing and book supply company. The partners at Spyrys a Gernow are a man and wife team who both speak the language fluently.

Spyrys a Gernow supply books in Cornish and other language related items. Their aim is to be a source of mostly literature in Cornish for those who prefer to read and write Cornish in forms based firmly on the historical texts.

Click on the image below to see the wide range of Cornish language books at Spyrys a Gernow

Women writers and Georgian Cornwall

This book explores the lives of women writers connected with Cornwall during the Georgian era. All were published authors. Cornwall influenced the writing of the Brontës through their mother’s Cornish relations. Many of the Brontës’ completed novels were set in the Georgian era. The lives and writing of twelve women who are less well known than the Brontës are rediscovered here. Individual chapters focus on Catherine Phillips, Elizabeth Trefusis, Anne Batten Cristall, Eliza Fenwick, Thomasin Dennis, and Charlotte Champion Pascoe. Alongside consideration of the published writing and lives of Dorothy Enys, Blanche Lean, Jane Taylor, Ann Thomas, Jane Louisa Willyams, and Anna Maria Wood. The purpose of this book is to unforget these women’s lives and writing, and what it can tell us about Cornwall’s history, culture, and literary traditions.

For more information and to buy this book click the link below: 

Women writers and Georgian Cornwall

A new high-quality book relating to the Flora of Cornwall is now in the process of being completed and ready for distribution. Highly detailed research and probably the most comprehensive survey of Cornwall's flora has led to this volume. Huge amount of information covering all aspects of Cornish flora makes this a must read for anyone interested in generally or as part of a project.

The order form is available here as well as the press publicity information that has been provided by the author. Click on the image to download

Flora of Cornwall
Flora of Cornwall Press Release
Surnames of Cornwall
Surnames of Cornwall

The Surnames of Cornwall by well-known historian, lecturer and author Dr Bernard Deacon includes a list of over seven hundred surnames used throughout Cornwall, with background information on each. At the beginning there is an overview relating to the introduction of surnames. As an additional supplement to the book there is a website which contains many distribution maps and additional names.

Especially for anyone carrying out family history this book is a must have and the website a wonderful addition.

Cornwall Connectivity and Identity in the Fourteenth Century covers a period of Cornwall's history that covers the final years of the Earldom of Cornwall and the creation of the Royal Duchy of Cornwall. Starting with an overview of Cornwall in the 14th century to considering a whole range of its people the great and the not so great.

The author Dr Sam Drake is a Research Associate at the Institute of Historical Research, who was born and bred in Cornwall.

Cornwall Connectivity & Identity

A winner of the 2020 Gorsedh Kernow Holyer an Gof award in Class 5a – Non-Fiction – Social, Cultural and Political History and also a joint winner of the The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies Holyer an Gof Cup.

This book has now been republished as a softback and much reduced in price. Information from the following website link.

Cornwall, Connectivity and Identity in the Fourteenth Century (

Par The Little Town that came out of the Sea

Par. A small town that came out of the sea  published to mark the 70th Anniversary of Par Old Cornwall Society. This generously illustrated book takes the reader on a walk around Par. The walk takes about an hour and the book highlights varied points of interest along the way, brought to notice with "Did you know?" headers, offering titbits such as "Reuben Chappell [maritime artist] used to enjoy a drink at the Welcome Home with his family after Church on a Sunday!" and "Canterbury Cathedral choir were evacuated to this area in WW2..."

Click the image and you will be taken to the Federation of Old Cornwall's website book shop where you can purchase this book.

Bookshops selling books on Cornwall & Cornish themes

There are a number of bookshops in Cornwall that either specialise or have a specialist section on books that relate to Cornwall. These may be new or vintage and secondhand. Some of these may be collectors items not found in normal high street bookshops.