In her book, The Seaside: England’s Love Affair, Madeleine Bunting explores England’s great coastal resorts to understand their origins and their heyday, their ongoing influence and their current struggle to survive.
Says the Guardian: ‘The author’s love of English coastal resorts shines through in this sharp and deeply moving study of the places that symbolise this country’s decline.’
Bunting set out to understand these hugely popular places of pleasure, entertainment and adventure, and their enduring appeal to discover what happened to the golden sands, cold seas and donkey rides of our memories.
Journeying clockwise around England from Scarborough to Morecambe along a striking variety of coastlines, she finds places struggling with the deepest deprivation and ill health in the country. She explores how in their decline, these holiday towns, still so influential in English history and in the shaping of our national identity, speak powerfully to the character, priorities and state of England today.
Writer Travis Elborough describes the book as ‘tender but tough…a fascinating barometer of the state of the nation.’
Writer and journalist Charlotte Higgins says: ‘’There is no one quite like Bunting in her combination of delicate, touching observation and memoir, and penetrating, clear-sighted analysis, here brought to bear on Britain’s coastline, adored, romanticised – and so often politically abandoned.’
Madeleine Bunting is the author of several acclaimed works of non-fiction, including Labours of Love: The Crisis of Care, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize; Love of Country: A Hebridean Journey, which was shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize and the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year award; The Plot: A Biography of My Father’s English Acre, which won the Portico Prize and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize, and Willing Slaves: How the Overwork Culture is Ruling Our Lives. She is also the author of two novels, Island Song and Ceremony of Innocence.