My latest book The Surnames of Cornwall is now published. Copies can be purchased direct from me, price £9.99. It is also available from The Edge of the World Bookshop, Penzance and from Amazon. There is also an ebook version available for £4.99. For more details of the book see here.

My aim on this site is to provide a comprehensive first port of call for anyone seeking accurate and trustworthy information on Cornwall and its history. I’ll be adding more topics over time. Plans include some bibliographies on aspects of Cornwall’s history. Regular summaries and reviews of academic work on Cornwall can also be found here. Suggestions for further topics are welcome.

You’ll also find a full list of my own publications on the site, some of which have links to full text versions. (For those who don’t know me, I was Senior Lecturer in Cornish Studies at the Institute of Cornish Studies before retirement.) Meanwhile some details of my current and recent projects can be found below.

Also available from Amazon for £9.99 + postage

Industrial Celts explains how Cornwall’s early industrialisation produced a unique society and a distinct regional culture. Socially, Cornwall became home to a dispersed paternalist society. In economic terms, it was based on mining and merchant capitalism. Culturally, it was dominated by Methodism. The twin symbols of mining and Methodism became central to a sense of Cornishness, encapsulated in the popular dialect literature that flourished in the mid-1800s. At the same time, identification of the Cornish as Celts became more widespread. That self-description had been recognised by Cornish historians as early as the 1700s and did not have to await either the later ‘Cornish Revival’ or romantic, metropolitan dreamers. Moreover, early de-industrialisation and mass emigration meant that Cornwall’s rural industrial economy and society retained material differences well into the twentieth century. However, the sense of identity produced by its industrialisation had its limits and proved incapable of competing with more powerful territorial discourses. Industrial Celts, a revised and more accessible version of my doctoral thesis, restores the importance of Cornwall’s industrial period to the modern sense of Cornishness and is an essential addition to the corpus of scholarly work on Cornwall’s past.

For a chapter by chapter synopsis see here.

If you’re interested in this can you afford to miss From a Cornish Study: essays on Cornish Studies and Cornwall?

This 226 page book, published in 2017, is available from Amazon at £9.99 plus postage or the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies bookshop or the Royal Cornwall Museum shop, Truro or direct from me.

For further details see here.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there.. I am have just started doing my family tree for PETHERICK. I live in New Zealand so therefore our name is quite uncommon here. I have so far gone back approximately 500years and have traced my 10th Great Grandfather which is so exciting and it seems most of us have derived from Cornwall.I have lived in NZ all my life of 55 years. I am interested in what you may know about the name PETHERICK.

    Kindest regards
    Denise Clevis nee Petherick


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