March 27th, 2015


Thursday reading (a little late)

Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (a chapter a day)
Watership Down, by Richard Adams (a chapter a week)
Beyond the Sun, by Matthew Jones
Wages of Sin, by Andrew M. Greeley

Last books finished
κ1 (did not complete reread)
Last Resort, by Paul Leonard
The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz Fanon
With The Light Vol 8, by Keiko Tobe

Last week's audios
Requiem for the Rocket Men, by John Dorney
The Entropy Plague, by Jonathan Morris

Next books
A Slip of the Keyboard, by Terry Pratchett
Kushiel's Justice, by Jacqueline Carey

What are the best known books set on the Channel Islands and Isle of Man? (And Gibraltar?)

See note on methodology

Since I started this series with the component parts of the United Kingdom, I guess I should also note those books set in dependent British territories (and Francis specifically asked about the Isle of Man). A later post will cover the Faroe and Åland Islands. 


A clear win for the first book of a Second World War trilogy by a well-known thriller writer:

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An autobiographical memoir about setting up a zoo is not far behind, but definitely in second place:

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Although Jersey has the larger population, there are a lot more books set on Guernsey. However, it's a decisive win for a wildly successful epistolary novel of the Second World War:

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Strictly speaking the other Channel Islands are politically and administratively part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, so I don't need to do them (for certain values of "need"). But in for a penny, in for a pound...


Despite extensive research, I'm afraid I am unconvinced that any book set on Alderney qualifies as "well-known". The best I can do is a murder mystery which has some of the action set there, but as far as I can tell most of it is set in Manchester.

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Somehow Sark has captured writers much more than Alderney. The winner, I think, is a 1953 short novel by a well-known fantasy writer. Who remembers the TV version starring Derek Jacobi?

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Honorable mention for a 1989 murder mystery set partly on Sark, partly on Jersey, but as far as I can tell largely in London, much loved by those who have read it:

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Not under its own name, but a 1919 novel by the bloke who actually owned Herm is generally understood as being set there. He is better known for his Scottish work.

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Jethou and Brezhou

Nothing to report.

The Isle of Man

The book most frequently tagged "Isle of Man" on LT, certainly much more popular on both LT and GR than any other with a significant Manx component, is a prize-winning 2000 seafaring novel, which however is mainly set in Australia and on the high seas. For the record, it is:

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The top book by ownership actually set on the Isle of Man is a 2012 murder mystery:

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Gibraltar gets visible pagecount in several well-known books, alas set mainly elsewhere; but they are an eclectic threesome - the conclusion to a best-selling Swedish trilogy; the first in a long series of nineteenth-century naval tales; and the latest novel by a well-known British spy writer (which actually cites my former boss as partial inspiration for the plot). They are:

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The winner for Gibraltar is yet another murder mystery, this time set against the background of a conference of forensic anthropologists:

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Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Again, nothing to report.