Beneath the Waves

Nigel Pennick. Lost Lands and Sunken Cities. Fortean Tomes, 1968.

Nigel Pennick is Forteana's Renaissance man, with a scope of expertise ranging from the earth mysteries of medieval Germany to the tramways of Cambridge. In this, the second volume from Fortean Tomes he looks at the forces which have altered the coastline of Britain from prehistoric times to the twentieth century, from legendary lands to historical record. There seems to be no coastal county which has not been affected by inundation from the sea, losing in the process houses, villages, even whole cities. 

Although some of this will be familiar to most readers - the lost town of Dunwich off the coast of Suffolk, semi-mythical Lyonesse - there is also much that will be unfamiliar. Although a native of the area, l was unaware of the history of the land of Meals, Merseyside's lost realm. Besides covering the British coast area by area, Nigel Pennick is also careful to put these stories of flood and deluge into a broader historical and mythic context, with chapters on Atlantis and deluge myths and man' s relationship to t he sea and its terrible power. Lavishly illustrated with contemporary maps, prints and drawings this book should be on every Fortean’s bookshelf.
  • John Rimmer. Magonia 31, November 1988.

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