Salt on Your Tongue by Charlotte Runcie

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A lyrical exploration of the sea, how it inspires art, music and literature and how it connects us.

In Salt On Your Tongue, Charlotte Runcie explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. In mesmerising prose, she explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue.

This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It’s an ode to our oceans – to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beachcombers, swimmers, seabirds and mermaids. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.


If you are near the sea, you hear it. The sea is loud, and it is always. The sound of its waves never stop their shushing and cracking on shingle and sand. The sea is eternally percussive, a natural heartbeat. Children are taught to listen out for the sound with a conch held up to the ear.