The Triumph of Goliathia Tremayne by Catherine Leyshon


The Triumph of Goliathia Tremayne by Catherine Leyshon is a wonderfully funny short story set near Camborne featured in the Cornwall Writers anthology Cornwall Secret and Hidden


Sharky Tremayne had lurched into fatherhood with his customary haphazardness. An arsonist of the heart, he briefly lit up Marigold Polglase, Cornwall’s strongest woman, who had run away from the circus when it pitched up at Pool Market.

Review by Gray Lightfoot:

Absolutely loved this perfectly-packaged piece of magic realism with its juxtaposition of faerie with modern. Set in the ‘real Cornwall’ of its interior, far away from the sand and surf of the periphery, I was fully engaged with Trevithick Day in Camborne in 1977 where the air was redolent with “the fragrance of carbolic soap and Vosene”. The legends of Giants such as Bolster, Trecobben and Cormoran abound in Cornwall and Carn Brea, the setting for this story, has its fair share of giant’s paraphernalia dotted about its mass.

The tale is basically about unrequited love – Jason for Gloria (or the eponymous Goliathia) and Gloria’s unrequited love for her father. It’s just the idea of stealing and storing classic motorbikes down an abandoned mineshaft that makes this story for me. Conversely, I also recognised within it the sad and well-documented fact that there are actually children having been brought up in Camborne, which is a matter of a few miles from the sea, that have never been to the beach.

It was joyfully funny and even more so when Gloria and Jason ‘head off into the sunset’, an ending revealed the galumphing great pun of the title. It even reminded me of Hilts (Steve McQueen) in The Great Escape riding his bike over the fence…and like this story, that was a Triumph too.



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