Books on Guernsey – Personal Reviews


I have picked up several little books on Guernsey’s history over the years and here I’ll share with you two which you may still be able to find. If not the The Guernsey Society Bookshop is an excellent place to search for more information:

The Guernsey Society Bookshop


And if you are interested in the history of the Channel Islands then time spent at The Priaulx Library, Candy Road, St Peter Port is a must!  

A Short History of Guernsey by Peter Johnson

There are several editions of this handy little book and its hundred pages span from 7,000 BC when apparently the rising water levels from the Ice Age cut the land bridge between France, Alderney and Guernsey. It describes in amazing detail, for a brief account, through to the period when King John lost Normandy in 1204 and the islanders had the choice of allegiance between France and England and so from that moment on the majority of Guernseymen swore allegiance to the English crown.

As with Alderney there was an age of smuggling and privateering after the Civil War and Johnson then goes on to describe The Napoleonic Era and influential figures for example  Rear Admiral Sir James Saumarez and Major General John Gasard le Marchant,  also pictured.

Johnson talks of the development of the road systems, transport, shops and markets and I was surprised that the famous covered fish and flower market, once near the church in St Peter Port was opened 1822.

I appreciate the way in which each period in history is treated equally, including the years of occupation during WW2,

and the illustrations add a charm of their own.

Historic Guernsey by Brian White

This is a beautifully illustrated little tome, this time choosing themes in which to describe the history of St Peter Port, the harbour, Castle Cornet and the Occupation. Brian White also has sections on the key characters of Victor Hugo, Renoir and the less well known outside the island Peter le Lieve, whose illustrations bring many of the pages to life.

Are there any books on Guernsey’s history you can recommend? It would be great to hear from you.

© 26/02/2011

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