Sandscapes: Writing the British Seaside reflects on the unique topography of sand, sandscapes, and the seaside in British culture and beyond. This book brings together creative and critical writings that explore the ways sand speaks to us of holidays and respite, but also of time and mortality, of plenitude and eternity. Drawing together writers from a range of backgrounds, the volume explores the environmental, social, personal, cultural, and political significance of sand and the seaside towns that have built up around it. The contributions take a variety of forms including fiction and nonfiction and cover topics ranging from sand dunes to sand mining, from seaside stories to shoreline architecture, from sand grains to global sand movements, from narratives of the setting up of bed and breakfasts to stories of seaside decline. Often a symbol of aridity, sand is revealed in this book to be an astonishingly fertile site for cultural meaning.
1. Introduction: Sandscapes, Jo Carruthers and Nour Dakkak
2. Tide Wrack and Sand, Jenn Ashworth
3. An Eclectic A-Z of Sand: Removing, Treasuring, Recreating and Protecting, Peter Coates
4. An Englishwoman's Home is her Castle: Social Morphologies and Coastal Formations, Sefryn Penrose
5. Sand, Good Sands, Excellent Sands: Writing and Ranking the British Coastline in the Middle of the Twentieth Century, Tim Cole
6. Queer Sands: Passion and Dynamic Sexualities in the Edwardian Sandscape, Nour Dakkak
7. On the Sound-Sea: Fifteen Ways of Thinking about Sand and Sound, Brian Baker
8. Rough and Smooth Sands: Social Thresholds and Seaside Style, Jo Carruthers
9. A Morecambe Mystery, Angela Piccini
10. Map of the Quick, Shona Legaspi
11. "Over Sands to the Lakes": Journeys over Morecambe Bay before and after the Age of Steam, Christopher Donaldson
12. Sand's Immense: A Fool's Errand. Jean Sprackland
13 Confounding Cartography: The Sandscape Diminution of Hayling Island, David Cooper and Michelle Green
14. Drifting in a Cemetery of Sandscapes, Julian Brigstocke
Jo Carruthers is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, UK. Her books include: The Politics of Purim: Law, Sovereignty and Hospitality in the Aesthetic Afterlives of Esther (2020) and a cultural history of simplicity in England's Secular Scripture: Islamophobia and the Protestant Aesthetic (2011).
Nour Dakkak is Assistant Professor at the Arab Open University, Kuwait, where she teaches humanities and literature. She is the co-editor of Anticipatory Materialisms in Literature and Philosophy (Palgrave 2020) with Jo Carruthers and Becky Spence and is working on a book of E. M. Forster’s materialities.