Silver Shoals

Silver Shoals is my most recent book, a cultural history of Britain through a fish-eye lens, telling the story of our nation through the natural and unnatural histories of five of our most iconic fish: cod, salmon, herring, eels and carp.

“Quite brilliant … buy it!” (Magnus Angus – Fly Fishing and Fly Tying)


“At once history and elegy, Silver Shoals leads its readers from silent lakes to roiling seas in search of the fish on which Britain has always depended. A bracingly recounted and often melancholy quest, ending on a note of optimism.” (Luke Jennings)


“A wonderful and important book, that from its first pages draws the reader along on a fascinating, gripping, often funny journey. Many kinds of writing shoal together here – cultural history, natural history, travelogue, ecology, politics – to form a brilliant and glittering whole.” (Robert Macfarlane)


“[Charles] summarises the individual fish biographers with wonderful clarity while also managing to illuminate how gloriously entangled his subjects are with human history… [a] wonderfully insightful book” (Mark Cocker New Statesman)


Silver Shoals glints with lovely details… And any book that can come up with the precise date when the first pan of fish and chips was served gets my vote” (Jonathan Tulloch The Tablet)


“[Charles Rangeley-Wilson] is a vivid, exuberant writer, and a highly articulate and committed champion of his cause” (Tom Fort Literary Review)


“This is one of the most important angling books of recent times – I urge you to read it.” (Jim Foster – Trout and Salmon)


“In Silver Shoals he describes the five species of fish that underlie our island history and the result is a cultural survey that manages to be hugely informative and nicely personal … Silver Shoals is pure gold.” (David Profumo – Country Life)