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Dr Angela Piccini contributes to new book exploring the seaside in British culture and beyond

16 December 2020

A chapter written by Dr Angela Piccini has featured in a newly released book entitled Sandscapes: Writing the British Seaside, which explores the environmental, social, personal, cultural, and political significance of sand and the seaside towns that have built up around it.

The chapter, called 'A Morecambe Mystery', examines a short film of the same name.


The setting is the Midland Hotel. Mysterious figures peer out through bedroom windows and lean menacingly over the rooftop railings. Towns-children perform death-defying BMX tricks. A couple mourn the loss of a black cat in the tide that runs faster than a horse. But who is the woman scattering seed and waving a fennel bulb in a mystic circle on the sand? What is the darkness that haunts the bridal suite? What is the future for a seaside resort where no one ever swims and the hills up river belong to the women who roam at night in search of bony spines to ride and flagons of wine to spoil with their mischievous micturations? Bringing the witches of Friuli together with those of Pendle, the river Lune with the Tagliamento, and the beach of Lignano with Morecambe, this short film delves deeply into chthonic magick to suggest new futures for the last resort of last resorts. To break free from rock-flavoured nostalgia requires radical change, a shift in perspective from the blue horizon back down to the mud that sucks at your toes.

Further information

Piccini, A. A. (2020). A Morecambe Mystery. In J. Carruthers, & N. Dakkak (Eds.), Sandscapes: Writing the British Seaside Palgrave Macmillan.

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