Book Signing: Cornish Folk Tales of Place

We had the pleasure of welcoming Anna Chorlton, author of Cornish Folk Tales of Place, to our bookshop for a book signing this month.

It’s no secret that there are lots of books about the tales and myths of West Cornwall, but little is said about the stories which come from the East and the North. But Cornish places go hand in hand with old myths and legends and the East and North regions are no different.

So which stories lurk beneath the surface in the East and the North of Cornwall?

Well, Anna Chorlton’s Cornish Folk Tales of Place, will help you find out.

Author  Anna Chorlton

From magic and myth to saints and swords, Cornish Folk Tales of Place is a brilliant book filled with retellings of Cornish folk stories, some of which you may be familiar with, while others wait to be discovered.

The book, which Anna Chorlton wrote after being approached by The History Press for her work on Mazed Tales, is a wonderful example of how Cornish folklore can be told in a captivating and memorable way, suitable for all ages. Rich in Cornish history and myth, this book is perfect for anyone who wants to know more about places in Cornwall filled with folklore.

Anna Chorlton talking about her book

Anna explained to her captivated audience it also serves as a fantastic travel book for visitors and locals alike, filled with short stories and ballads set in pockets of Cornwall.

With over 50 tales spanning from Bodmin to Bude, with many illustrations by children from Cornish schools, Anna revealed that her favourite story is about a bad-tempered witch from St Anthony, who tries to create a kindness spell using her dead neighbour’s leg. It’s said that her spirit still haunts St Anthony after the potion went disastrously wrong.

Cornish Piskeys by Looe school

Holding the book up, Anna showed us an illustration by children from Looe school, which was made using potato prints to create the charismatic piskeys. Almost every story features a charming illustration within its pages, either from Cornish school children or professional artists, to bring the words to life.

We were delighted to hear that, since its release, the book has also been read aloud in schools to help children learn about Cornish folklore and history – and definitely gone down a treat!

Anna’s work is a real Cornish gem and extremely helpful if you want to discover a little bit more about Cornwall, not to mention how to get out of a scrape with Cornish piskeys.

So when you find it, open its pages, sit back, and get lost in a world of Cornish myths and legends.

Cornish Folk Tales of Place is available at Lost in Books.

We host as many bookish events and activities as possible here at Lost in Books. Check our Twitter for the latest news and updates and we’ll look forward to seeing you at our next event.

Top Five Reading Spots in Lostwithiel

Lostwithiel is a great place to read, regardless of what the weather is doing. So, no matter whether we’re in the middle of a soggy summer or a blissful heatwave, we’ve picked out some of our favourite reading spots in Lostwithiel for you to try.

  1. By the riverbank

 This is a great spot to read under the shade of the trees lining the riverbank, located just before the bridge to neighbouring village Lerryn. The trickle of the water running and the swell of the summer heat as you catch up on your favourite read is a great way to spend time in Lostwithiel. Pack a picnic along and you’re all set up to have a relaxed afternoon of reading.

  1. In a café

If you enjoy reading anywhere and find a warm and friendly atmosphere comforting, then a bustling Lostwithiel café might just be for you. We have several cafés and boutique eateries to choose from, all located right in the centre of our famous antique town, meaning you’ll never be far away from the action. Order your favourite hot beverage or tuck in to a tempting pasty, while getting to grips with your current novel. Between reading and drinking, why not watch passers-by as they stroll along the streets?

  1. Surrounded by nature

Take the trail past Quay Street and you’ll find yourself in Coulson Park surrounded by the beauty of nature. If you enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, then this reading spot is for you. Get in touch with nature as you lie back on a blanket above the fresh summer grass and while away the hours with a good book (or two, or three).

However, if you’re after a longer stroll for a more secluded read, follow the trail after Coulson Park that follows the trainline and within ten minutes you’ll stumble upon Shirehall Moor, a wonderful nature reserve located just alongside the Fowey River. Settle down with the buzzing bees and gaze at the wildflowers at your feet as you pull your book from your trusted bag and dip into the literary world.

  1. Pub

Lostwithiel is proud to host some of most traditional pubs in Cornwall. If it’s a rainy day, then why not snuggle up with a cushion or two in an old pub armchair, listening to the rain patter against the windows with your favourite characters? We’ve spent enough time in Lostwithiel to know that the bar staff are always friendly and willing to help a budding reader or two settle down during quiet, rainy spells with a drink – soft or alcoholic – in hand.

If it’s scorching weather, however, why not sit out in one of the relaxed beer gardens? Filled with history and good old fashioned charm, any one of our pubs in Lostwithiel is a great place to read with pleasant company and a relaxed atmosphere.

  1. Museum

Did you know that Lostwithiel has a museum located on Fore Street? With Queen Victoria, famous authors, and inspired artists on the list of people who have visited here, this is a great way to learn a bit more about the beautiful place we live in. Delve into the museum literature to explore the history of the town, what made it so important to Cornwall, and the stories of the people who once (and still do) live here. We know it may not be a novel, or even a non-fiction paperback that you’ll be reading inside these Georgian walls, but we think it’s a sneaky must-read regardless!

That concludes our roundup of the top five reading spots in Lostwithiel. We hope you enjoy them – or if we haven’t mentioned your favourite, then let us know.

Stuck on something to read? We can help with that.

We’re proud to cater for every reader’s taste, from literary wonders to gripping genre fiction, and timeless classics to the latest non-fiction. Whatever your reading style, we hope you’ll find a book you adore with us at Lost in Books.

Interview by Fairlight Publishers on the opening of our shop

We were interviewed by Fairlight Publishers for their new blog site back in January. Since the interview we have opened our ‘shop within a shop’ at a permanent location within the new emporium that is ‘Choughs’. This is the interview published here:

Do you remember when you were first setting up your bookshop? Was it all a haze of to-do-lists and business planning? Was it a thrilling adventure, filled with book catalogues and second-hand treasures? For sisters Amanda and Rebecca it seems like a mix of both. While preparing for the launch of their new bookshop, Lost in Books, they’ve given us an exciting preview of what’s in store for their local community. Amanda and Rebecca live in a small town of Lostwithiel, which is known as the antique capital of Cornwall. In the past they have had various careers including picture researcher, accountant, toy seller, and café owner. After growing up in Cornwall in their parent’s hotel on the cliff, Amanda and Rebecca felt the strong pull of the sea and, after having children of their own, returned to the South West.

Both sisters have an inherent love of reading and all things book-related. Rebecca has just finished an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University and Amanda is part-way through her masters in Authorial Illustration. Lostwithiel has an active cultural community but doesn’t have a bookshop of its own. Seeing the gap in the market, these book lovers began their plan. Since both Amanda and Rebecca have experience in running shops, they’ll be focusing on creating a unique place in their community that will promote the love and value of reading.

As brand-new booksellers, they have many ideas on how to make their business distinctive. Their collaboration with the local community will assist in setting up the bookshop up as a creative hub. In addition to selling both new and second-hand books, Amanda and Rebecca hope to run literary workshops. They even plan to organise a book group for the entire town that will extend onto Facebook. Lost in Books will be the place to visit in the South East of Cornwall for all things literary. The sisters will also have a social enterprise element, offering donated books for resale with proceeds going to a charity.

Amanda and Rebecca are going to get started with a pop-up shop to explore their ideas at the beginning of March and are hoping to have a permanent location by June. However, as anyone who has tried to set-up a business knows, unexpected hurdles are unavoidable.

Like most indie booksellers, Amanda and Rebecca are worried about keeping the momentum of the new shop going, especially during the winter months when, as they say: ‘tumbleweed blows down the main street’. But the sisters are more excited than nervous: Amanda is absolutely thrilled about keeping their own book collection, while Rebecca can’t wait to meet new people, discuss books and write as an aspiring author herself. All of their energy at the moment is focused on creating the right atmosphere for their shop. Hoping to move away from the ‘fusty, musty image of a second-hand bookshop’, the women want to create a warm and welcoming space where they can help people develop and foster their love of reading.

Lost in Books will stock new and good quality second-hand books with subjects ranging from nature and wildlife, through to novels, craft and children’s. Cornish authors and travel books will have a place too, with Amanda and Rebecca offering a new book ordering service as an alternative to the big online retailers.