Novels Set in Cornwall

January 14th, 2019

With miles and miles of gorgeous countryside, striking moorland and stunning seascapes it comes as no surprise that Cornwall has inspired many authors to set their novels in this magical county. Immerse yourself in nature while exploring Cornwall when staying at our luxury Cornish cottages and enjoy a great read with one of these books set in Cornwall!


The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Inspired by the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, as well as Morton’s own family history, The Forgotten Garden tells of a journey from Australia to Tregenna in search of answers. Following the story of Nell, who was adopted as a child and grew up in Australia, as she returns to Cornwall as an old woman to discover the truth about her past.


Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier

Set at the infamous Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor, which was renowned for smuggling, the book follows Mary Yellan as she moves into the Inn run by her aunt and terrifying uncle. Packed full of plot twists and intrigue, the story involves a group of wreckers who cause ships to crash, allowing them to kill the sailors and loot the cargo. The novel was inspired by the real Jamaica Inn, which is now a pub that you can still visit today, although it isn’t quite as scary as it is in the book! Proving quite a hit amongst readers, the novel was eventually turned into a film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock.


Poldark Series by Winston Graham

Another well-known tale set in Cornwall is the Poldark series, which was first published by Winston Graham in 1945, but is now perhaps best known as the BBC adaptation version which has proved a hit! Set during the 18th and 19th century along the Cornish coast, the tales of Ross Poldark are primarily those of romance and treachery, yet themes including mining and smuggling cement the stories in their setting.


The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber

A children’s novel inspired by the Cornish legend of Tom Bawcock and the stargazy pie, the book involves a cat accompanying Tom, a fisherman, on a fishing trip through stormy seas. Mowzer, the cat, helps to quell the storm by purring a song, allowing Tom time to catch enough fish to feed the village of Mousehole. The award-winning book has also been adapted into a film, a stage musical and a puppet show!


The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

While staying in a Cornish hotel that overlooks the Fal Estuary, Graham became inspired by the beauty of the views and began writing short stories in letters he sent to his son. A year later, Graham had taken these letters and turned them into his famous novel. As well as the Fal Estuary, the town of Fowey also proved to be a source of inspiration to Graham for this book.

Have you read any of these novels? If so, which was your favourite, and if not, which will you be reading first when you visit Cornwall! Let us know in the comments below.