THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are

MICHAEL PYE
400pp COLOUR ILLUS 2015 (P) HB30

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Description
A closely-researched characterisation of the richness of life and the underestimated interconnections of the peoples all around the medieval and early modern North Sea. It is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders -- and of how their daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost; a thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money. We owe this transformation to the tides and storms of the North Sea. Boats carried food and raw materials, but also new ideas and information; seafarers raided, ruined and killed, but they also settled and coupled.
Hugely enjoyable . . . Grey the waters of the North Sea may be; but Pye has successfully dyed them with a multitude of rich colours. GUARDIAN