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Research reveals UK holiday hotspot Cornwall has hidden glamour in buckets and spades

Many families choosing to holiday in Cornwall this summer may be expecting pasties and windy beaches, but a new publication reveals a very different side to the popular UK destination.

In a new book due out next month, University of Warwick academic Dr Rachel Moseley looks at Cornwall’s illustrious history as a film location to explore the county’s identity as a romantic setting.

Many films have been filmed entirely or in part on location in Cornwall, including The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, The Eagle has Landed, Ladies in Lavender, and the James Bond movie Die Another Day.

The latest film to use Cornwall’s landscape as a backdrop, Creation starring Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, is due to be released in September.

Dr Moseley’s article, ‘Landscape of Desire: Cornwall as a Romantic Setting’ is being published as part of a book called British Women’s Cinema, also due out in September.

Dr Moseley said: “For many people, Cornwall is a family holiday destination which signifies buckets and spades and Cornish pasties. This image has been vital to Cornwall’s tourist industry for more than one hundred years, but there are other aspects of its regional identity that have made it attractive to filmmakers. Craggy coastlines, precipitous cliffs and the dark legacies of smuggling and piracy have combined over time to give Cornwall a feeling of a place at once familiar and benign, but also foreign and exotic.”

In her article, Dr Moseley looks at three particular films shot on location in Cornwall, the 1948 film Miranda, the 1944 wartime melodrama Love Story and the 2004 Charles Dance film Ladies in Lavender.

Dr Moseley said: “There is a growing body of work in Cornish Studies exploring Cornish history, identity and culture. This work has begun the exploration and deconstruction of the romanticisation of Cornwall in literature, film and television. I hope my article continues this task; Cornwall’s identity as a tourist destination is important and well-established, but I hope that my work will go some way towards exploring the multiple facets of its representation as a region and as a fantasy space.”

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Communications Officer, University of Warwick,, 02476 574255, 07824 540863

Dr Moseley’s article is published in British Women's Cinema, edited by Melanie Bell, Melanie Williams (Routledge, due for publication in September 2009)