The Sea Inside

Philip Hoare grew up and still lives on England’s south coast, and has been obsessed with the sea and its creatures since early childhood. His previous book Leviathan, a study of whales and their place in the human imagination, won him the Samuel Johnson prize for nonfiction in 2009, and his latest bookSea Inside uses the same technique of weaving historical anecdote with hard science and personal observation to present a fascinating and often surprising portrait of the oceans, their inhabitants, and of the men and women who have tried to discover their secrets. ‘The sea defines us, connects us, separates us’, he writes. Most of us experience only its edges, our available wilderness on a crowded island … And although it seems constant, it is never the same. One day the shore will be swept clean, the next covered by weed; the shingle itself rises and falls. Perpetually renewing and destroying, the sea proposes a beginning and an ending, an alternative to our landlocked state, an existence to which we are tethered when we might rather be set free.’

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