chroniclesA Gull on the Roof, is the first of the best selling book series that became known as ‘The Minack Chronicles’ and made Derek Tangye one of Britain’s most loved authors.  In this autobiographical book he recounts the story of how he and his wife left high-powered careers in London to start a new life on the far west coast of Cornwall.

About the book
Tangye was a British author who lived in Cornwall for nearly fifty years. He wrote 19 books which became known as ‘The Minack Chronicles’, about his simple life on a clifftop daffodil farm called Dorminack, affectionately referred to as Minack, at St Buryan in the far west of Cornwall with his wife Jeannie. The couple had given up sophisticated metropolitan lives, he as a newspaper columnist (during the war years he had worked for MI5) and she as a hotel PR executive, to live in isolation in a simple cottage surrounded by their beloved animals, which featured in nearly all his works. The first of The Minack Chronicles was ‘A Gull on the Roof’ published in 1961.
Useful links
·    Friends of the Minack Society. Really friendly group, informative and welcoming. Also has some great membership offers, including daffodils named after Derek and Jeannie.

BBC Radio 4. John McCarthy explores the fascinating life of British author Derek Tangye and reveals a remarkable and enigmatic portrait of this influential writer. As McCarthy travels to the area surrounding Minack, the main inspiration for Tangye’ work, he explores the world of a writer whose literary triumphs mask a mysterious and complex life. His descriptions in the books of the ‘glorious anthem’ of a cat’s purr and the ‘sweet moment when a long-awaited harvest awakes’ provide an atmospheric backdrop to the captivating discoveries and secrets of his life.

·    Derek Tangye Obituary

·    A video walk around the Tangyes’ favourite places. Lovely for anyone who can’t visit in person.

Further Reading
A Cat in the Window – Derek Tangye.
Meet me at the Savoy – Jeanne Tangye
Land’s End – WH Hudson
The Memory Garden – Rachel Hore.

Talking Points.
Cornwall has always been somewhere that people like to move to. Do you feel that this is beneficial or harmful?
Were the Tangyes running to Cornwall or escaping from London?