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The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are Paperback – 2 Jul 2015

4.1 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (2 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241963834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241963838
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

It's fascinating to understand [these] historical trends and ideas (Jeremy Corbyn)

An utterly beguiling journey into the dark ages of the north sea. A complete revelation . . . Pye writes like a dream. Magnificent (Jerry Brotton, author of 'A History of the World in Twelve Maps')

A closely-researched and fascinating characterisation of the richness of life and the underestimated interconnections of the peoples all around the medieval and early modern North Sea. A real page-turner (Chris Wickham, author of 'The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000')

Elegant writing and extraordinary scholarship . . . Miraculous (Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of 'Periodic Tales' and 'Anatomies')

Splendid. A heady mix of social, economic, and intellectual history, written in an engaging style. It offers a counterpoint to the many studies of the Mediterranean, arguing for the importance of the North Sea. Exciting, fun, and informative (Michael Prestwich, Professor of History, Durham University)

Brilliant. Pye is a wonderful historian . . . bringing history to life like no one else. Who knew that the Irish invented punctuation? (Terry Jones)

A masterly storyteller (Vogue)

Pye has a great journalist's eye for a story and the telling anecdote as well as a great historian's ability to place it in the bigger picture. Here he fuses those talents in a hugely eclectic study of the very first stirrings of modernity in northern Europe

(Alexander McCall Smith)

Pye draws on a dizzying array of documentary and archaeological scholarship, which he works together in surprising ways . . . He advances on several fronts at once, following the overlapping currents of customary, religious and empirical ways of thinking. He writes about difficult concepts with vivid details and stories, often jump-cutting from exposition to drama like a film. It's complicated, but fun (Economist)

Hugely enjoyable. it is the measure of Pye's achievement that he can breathe life into the traders of seventh-century Frisia or the beguines of late-medieval Flanders as well as into his more celebrated subjects . . . Grey the waters of the North Sea may be; but Pye has successfully dyed them with a multitude of rich colours (Tom Holland Guardian)

From the Inside Flap

Michael Pye's The Edge of the World is an epic adventure: from the Vikings to the Enlightenment, from barbaric outpost to global centre, it tells the amazing story of northern Europe's transformation by sea. 'An utterly beguiling journey into the dark ages of the north sea. A complete revelation . . . Pye writes like a dream. Magnificent' Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in Twelve Maps This is a story of saints and spies, of fishermen and pirates, traders and marauders - and of how their wild and daring journeys across the North Sea built the world we know. When the Roman Empire retreated, northern Europe was a barbarian outpost at the very edge of everything. A thousand years later, it was the heart of global empires and the home of science, art, enlightenment and money.

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73 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

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