Laura Cumming On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons in Bath

Tuesday 10th September

  • Venue The Bookshop, The Paragon, Bath, BA1 5LS
  • Doors open 7.45pm
  • Start time 8pm
Image of Laura Cumming On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons

Uncovering the mystery of her mother’s disappearance as a child: Laura Cumming, prize-winning author and art critic, takes a closer look at her family story.

In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home. It was another fifty years before she even learned of the kidnap.

The girl became an artist and had a daughter, art writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother’s strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast – the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker – but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives were affected by what happened that day on the beach – including her own.

On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir unlike any other – a remarkable and thought-provoking account of family secrets being uncovered that will resonate with everyone.

“A modern masterpiece” The Guardian.

“A moving, many-sided human story of great depth and tenderness, and a revelation of how art enriches life” The Sunday Times.