An picture of Secret Waters , the book by Arthur Ransome

What’s the Book that Rocks Essex?
It’s Arthur Ransome’s Secret Water!

We are delighted to announce that Arthur Ransome’s Secret Water is the winner of our Top Twenty Books That Rock Essex. 

Secret Water is the eighth book in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series of children’s books, and was first published in 1939. The story is set in and around Hamford Water in Essex, close to the resort town of Walton-on-the-Naze, an area of tidal salt marshes and low-lying islands.

About Top Twenty Books That Rock Essex…

For our 20th Birthday celebrations we asked the people of Essex to nominate their favourite books that are either based or partially set in Essex, in partnership with Essex Libraries and BBC Essex.

The Top Twenty was launched at our Secret Water themed opening weekend in Harwich, by BBC Essex on board the wonderful LV18, and the winner was announced at our Essex Book Club Symposium in Chelmsford towards the end the festival.

Other books that were nominated were:

Heart of Darkness  – Joseph Conrad – Tilbury Dock
War of the Worlds – HG Wells – Essex Coast
We Didn’t Mean To Go Sea – Arthur Ransome
The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry – Colchester
Dracula – Bram Stoker – Purfleet
Oaken Heart – Margery Allingham – Tolleshunt D’Arcy
Starter for Ten – David Nicolls – Southend-on-Sea
Turn of the Screw – Henry James- Essex country house
The Witchfinder’s Sister – Beth Underdown – Manningtree
Mehalah – Sabine Baring-Gould – Mersea
The Forgotten Seamstress – Liz Trenow – Braintree
Strange Magic – Syd Moore – Manningtree
Hiding From the Light – Barbara Erskine – Mistley
1984 – George Orwell – Colchester
The Peregrine – JA Baker – Essex Coast
Sharpes Regiment – Bernard Cornwell – South Essex
Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe – Colchester
Barnaby Rudge – Charles Dickens – Chigwell
The Mysterious Affair at Styles – Agatha Christie – Essex Country House

Logo for BBC Essex
Logo for BBC Essex