There’s nothing romantic about Cornish fishermen, whatever tales they may spin

Lamorna Ash came to the fishing port of Newlyn in south-west Cornwall to write a memoir. This is not unusual. There is a tendency, as old industries die, to watch them covetously and with awe; to paint them a paradigm of all that is lost. In the 19th century, fishwives posed for the artists of the Newlyn School on the quayside. Today, journalists are found at the Star Inn, which featured in Gavin Knight’s The Swordfish and the Star, buying pints for Ben Gunn, a ‘celebrity’ fisherman, for a tale. Ash is a woman who can lose herself ‘along the simplest of paths’. She immerses herself in the real Newlyn,