Over Sea, Under Stone

Susan Cooper

Illustrated by Laura Carlin

The first book in the award-winning The Dark is Rising sequence, Over Sea, Under Stone is a fantastical adventure set among forces of Light and Dark. Laura Carlin illustrates, with a new preface by the author.

Published price: US$ 49.95


Over Sea, Under Stone

Simon, Jane and Barney Drew know that their holiday in Cornwall will be a wonderful one. The seaside village of Trewissick is filled with fishermen to chat to, and the house they are staying in has secret passages, stairways and even a hidden attic to explore. Best of all, they have their mysterious, enthralling Great-Uncle Merry all to themselves for four whole weeks. When they discover an ancient manuscript hidden in the house, it seems a harmless excitement, but first a burglary, and then a frightening moonlit encounter among the standing stones on the headland reveal that the children are not the only ones interested in the parchment. All at once Trewissick seems to wear a different face: the friendly fishermen, helpful vicar and motherly housekeeper may not be all they seem. It may be that not even Great-Uncle Merry can protect the children from the terrifying figures of the Dark.

‘The grail may not leave this land, but must wait the Pendragon, till the day comes. So therefore, I trust it to this land, over sea and under stone, and I mark here the signs ...’

Production Details

Over Sea, Under Stone book

New preface by the author.

Quarter-bound in buckram with Modigliani paper sides.

Printed with a design by Laura Carlin.

Set in Elysium with Clairvaux display.

Frontispiece and 7 colour illustrations.

Book Size: 9" × 6¼".

216 pages.

'A writer of great integrity and skill'

‘Cooper’s superior writing is informed by a love of folklore, British history, myth and nature’

The first book in the award-winning The Dark is Rising sequence, Over Sea, Under Stone also stands alone as a thrilling mixture of adventure and fantasy. Its theme is the eternal battle between the Light and the Dark, which Merry tells the children ‘goes on all round us all the time, like two armies fighting’. Susan Cooper has contributed a new preface to this edition, in which she explains that the original impetus for this story was a literary competition (a catalyst that soon vanished as the novel took on its own life). She has also been involved in choosing the illustrator: Laura Carlin’s unerring sense of colour and eye for the uncanny have created memorable, evocative images of both the characters and landscape.

‘A writer of great integrity and skill’

Read more about the life and work of Susan Cooper

Over Sea Under Stone Image

Susan Cooper reads from Over Sea, Under Stone

Susan Cooper

Interview with Susan Cooper by our Managing Editor, Johanna Geary

About Susan Cooper

Susan Cooper was born in Burnham, Buckinghamshire on 23rd May 1935. Though living near London, Cooper was not evacuated during the war and therefore witnessed the full force of the Blitz as it struck the capital – she later wrote of her experiences during the war in her novel Dawn of Fear (1970).

Cooper attended Slough High School, a local grammar school where she pursued her love of literature. In interviews she has said that she cannot remember a time when she did not write – always creating stories, articles and plays for herself, brother and friends.

Susan Cooper studied English at Oxford University, where she became the first female editor of the university newspaper, Cherwell. After graduating she worked for the Sunday Times as a journalist and features writer – her immediate boss at the time being James Bond creator Ian Fleming. In her spare time she wrote fiction and the first Susan Cooper book was published in 1964 titled Mandrake. Although Mandrake was a fantasy novel for adults , a year later she published a book for children, Over Sea, Under Stone (1965) - the first in her acclaimed The Dark is Rising sequence.


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Review by PAULALOUD on 17th May 2014

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"I love this series! Thank you Folio for introducing me to Susan Cooper. Ms. Cooper's own childhood memories together with her creativity in storytelling make for a wonderful adventure with a cup of ..." [read more]

Review by ajmcg on 9th Jun 2013

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Discovering this series of books, courtesy of Folio, has been a source of great pleasure and satisfaction. The stories are gripping, and their complex plot unfolds at exactly the right pace. So too th..." [read more]

Review by loryh0907 on 23rd May 2013

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 4/5

"I purchased this book because I have been a longtime fan of the other books in the sequence (written much later) but did not have this one. The story is not quite as complex as the later books, and sh..." [read more]

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