The Edge of the World: Book summary and reviews of The Edge of the World by Michael Pye

The Edge of the World

A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe

by Michael Pye

The Edge of the World by Michael Pye X
The Edge of the World by Michael Pye
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Book Summary

Saints and spies, pirates and philosophers, artists and intellectuals: they all criss-crossed the grey North Sea in the so-called "dark ages," the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Europe's mastery over the oceans. Now the critically acclaimed Michael Pye reveals the cultural transformation sparked by those men and women: the ideas, technology, science, law, and moral codes that helped create our modern world.

This is the magnificent lost history of a thousand years. It was on the shores of the North Sea where experimental science was born, where women first had the right to choose whom they married; there was the beginning of contemporary business transactions and the advent of the printed book. In The Edge of the World, Michael Pye draws on an astounding breadth of original source material to illuminate this fascinating region during a pivotal era in world history.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A brilliant history of the Dark Ages showing the growth and development of science, business, fashion, law, politics and other significant institutions - a joy to read and reread." - Kirkus

"Extraordinary. Astonishing. The end result is brilliantly illuminating. Pye's creativity brings light to this once dark time." - The Times Saturday Review (UK)

"Excellent. The Edge of the World does what good non-fiction should, in making the reader see the world in a different light." - Scotland on Sunday (UK)

"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. Hugely enjoyable." - The Guardian (UK)

"This is the kind of book that can open up new vistas. An inspiring book, full of surprises." - The Independent (UK)

"The amazing story of how the North Sea made us who we are. A dazzling historical adventure." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"A compelling account of societies around the North Sea will make you see the world in a different light." - The Scotsman (UK)

"Persuasive and eloquent...A multilayered, complicated, dense book that demands time to be read and be digested but rewards by giving one plenty to chew on." - The Observer (UK)

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Author Information

Michael Pye

Michael Pye is the author of The Drowning Room and The Pieces from Berlin, which were both New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He won various prizes in Modern History at Oxford before working as a journalist, columnist, and broadcaster in London and New York. He now divides his time between London and rural Portugal.

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