Painting and sculpture, poetry and adventure, the present and the past, the local and the cosmopolitan, all belong to this exploration of the Dartmouth area. Extraordinary natural beauty is captured in art going back to the 17th century; a multi-layered and often glorious past is discovered behind modesty today. At the end of the road, the area is a springboard to a highway by sea, and modern yachtsmen sail off in the wake of kings and pilgrims, crusaders and explorers, emigrants and invasion forces. Much of the cultural heritage uncovered in this book is surprising and new. John Masefield, Robert Graves, Flora Thompson and Nevil Shute as well as Agatha Christie were inspired by the Dart; with Queen Victoria came the Prince of Wales and his friends who spawned little-known local inventors of marine engines, motor-cars and gliders. The book displays Lucien Pissarro's pastoral vision and publishes for the first time delicate sketches by Turner; it explores how the same stretch of the Dart inspired the pre-Christian vision behind Bridget McCrum's minimalist modern sculpture and Graves' writing on the same mythology. 'Dartmouth: An Enchanted Place' is all about looking again at this quiet coastal area - through the eyes of the artists who dress it up and the voices of the historians and writers who write it down. It is about the people who made a unique place and those who have preserved it.
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