Description : VINTAGE CLASSICS MURDOCH: Funny, subversive, fearless and fiercely intelligent, Iris Murdoch was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. To celebrate her centenary Vintage Classics presents special editions of her greatest and most timeless novels. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAISY JOHNSON ‘I saw a monster rising from the waves.' Charles Arrowby has determined to spend the rest of his days in hermit-like contemplation. He buys a mysteriously damp house on the coast, far from the heady world of the theatre where he made his name, and there he swims in the sea, eats revolting meals and writes his memoirs. But then he meets his childhood sweetheart Hartley, and memories of her lovely, younger self crowd in – along with more recent lovers and friends – to disrupt his self-imposed exile. So instead of 'learning to be good', Charles proceeds to demonstrate how very bad he can be. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 1978.
Description : Corbin argues that with few exceptions people living before the eighteenth century knew nothing of the attractions of the coast, the visual delight of the sea, the desire to brave the force of the waves or to feel the coolness of sand against the skin. The image of the ocean in the popular consciousness was coloured by Biblical and mythical recollections of sea monsters, voracious whales, and catastrophic floods. It was perceived as sinister and unchanging, a dark, unfathomable force inspiring horror rather than attraction. These associations of catastrophe and fear in the minds of Europeans intensified the repulsion they felt towards deserted and dismal shores.
Description : First published in 1961, The Severed Head is regarded is one of Iris Murdochâe(tm)s most entertaining works. A dark and ferocious comic masterpiece, the novel traces the turbulent emotional journey of Martin Lynch-Gibbon, a smug, well-to-do London wine merchant and unfaithful husband, whose life is turned inside out when his wife leaves him for her psychoanalyst. In The Sea, the Sea the landscape shifts to the seclusion of an isolated house on the edge of Englandâe(tm)s North Sea, where Charles Arrowby, a big name in Londonâe(tm)s glittering theatrical world, has retired to write his memoirs. Arrowbyâe(tm)s plans begin to unravel when he meets his first love and becomes haunted by the idea of rekindling his adolescent passion. The Severed Head and Booker prize-winner The Sea, the Sea are two of Iris Murdochâe(tm)s most accomplished novels, displaying all her talent for combining profundity with playful creativity. Both tragic and comic, brooding and hilarious, they brilliantly reveal how much our lives are governed by the lies we tell ourselves as well as our all-consuming desire for love, significance and, ultimately, redemption.
Description : A discerning and entertaining anthology for all those fascinated by the sea, marking the 200th anniversary of the legendary Battle of Trafalgar and Admiral Lord Nelson's death. The sea occupies four-fifths of the earth's surface and, from time immemorial,
Description : In Peril on the Sea is the story of missionary widow Ethel Bell and her children—Mary, 14, and Robert, 11—uprooted by the war from their West African station, find themselves on a small freighter bound for America. It is 1942. Sights and sounds of war envelop the world. And in the arena of the South Atlantic the infamous German submarine U-66 prowls the gray waters. Suddenly, on a peaceful August afternoon, a shrieking alarm pierces the stillness. Torpedoes explode. Fire engulfs the ship and within two minutes it disappears beneath the oil-slimed, shark infested waters. What follows is an almost unbelievable saga of death and despair as mother, daughter and son find themselves on an eight-by-ten foot raft along with two orphaned missionary children and fourteen male crew members. For twenty days aboard the bobbing vessel, Ethel Bell becomes pastor, peacekeeper, teacher, mediator and caregiver. But the story does not end with the surprising rescue. Years later, in a poignant moment, Robert Bell meets his "enemies" face to face. The war is over. God's love and forgiveness have triumphed.
Description : In 1521, Suleiman the Magnificent, Muslim ruler of the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power, dispatched an invasion fleet to the Christian island of Rhodes. This would prove to be the opening shot in an epic struggle between rival empires and faiths for control of the Mediterranean and the center of the world. In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written his most mesmerizing work to date–a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar and features a cast of extraordinary characters: Barbarossa, “The King of Evil,” the pirate who terrified Europe; the risk-taking Emperor Charles V; the Knights of St. John, the last crusading order after the passing of the Templars; the messianic Pope Pius V; and the brilliant Christian admiral Don Juan of Austria. This struggle’s brutal climax came between 1565 and 1571, seven years that witnessed a fight to the finish decided in a series of bloody set pieces: the epic siege of Malta, in which a tiny band of Christian defenders defied the might of the Ottoman army; the savage battle for Cyprus; and the apocalyptic last-ditch defense of southern Europe at Lepanto–one of the single most shocking days in world history. At the close of this cataclysmic naval encounter, the carnage was so great that the victors could barely sail away “because of the countless corpses floating in the sea.” Lepanto fixed the frontiers of the Mediterranean world that we know today. Roger Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality, technology and Inca gold. Empires of the Sea is page-turning narrative history at its best–a story of extraordinary color and incident, rich in detail, full of surprises, and backed by a wealth of eyewitness accounts. It provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.
Description : Marzano explores the exploitation of marine resources in the Roman world and its role within the economy. Bringing together literary, epigraphic, archaeological, and legal sources, she shows that these marine resources were an important feature of the Roman economy and paralleled phenomena taking place in the Roman agricultural economy on land.
Description : From the author of Mayflower, Valiant Ambition, and In the Hurricane's Eye--the riveting bestseller tells the story of the true events that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick. Winner of the National Book Award, Nathaniel Philbrick's book is a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of whaling, with deep resonance in American literature and history. In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea, recently adapted into a major feature film starring Chris Hemsworth, is a book for the ages.
Description : Evocative black-and-white photos on two-page spreads are complemented with excerpts from poetry and songs, as well as brief quotations and anecdotes from master writers about the sea. Herman Melville, best remembered today for his epic novel Moby Dick, is quoted: "There's magic in water that draws all men away from the land, that leads them over the hills, down creeks and streams and rivers to the sea." An appropriately atmospheric photo shows an unpaved road high above ocean dunes and leading towards the sea. A variety of striking photographs accompany quotations by Matthew Arnold, Ralph Waldo Emerson, D.H. Lawrence, and even Seinfeld, among many others. Approximately 50 memorable seascape photos in total.
Description : Anna M. Kerttula, an anthropologist, offers a vivid portrayal of life in Sireniki, a Siberian village on the Bering Sea. Once a traditional Yup'ik community, it was by the final years of the Soviet Empire home to three cultural groups: the Yup'ik, native hunters of sea mammals; the Chukchi, nomadic reindeer herders who had been required by the state to turn their animals over to cooperative farms; and Russians of European ancestry enticed to the region by incentive programs designed to colonize the Russian Far East. Kerttula, who lived among the villagers for eighteen months, draws on her experiences to explore how each group's beliefs and customs have transformed those of the other two. Her book shows the endurance of the indigenous cultures of Far Eastern Russia despite years of intrusion by the Soviet state.The author describes in rich detail how the Yup'ik, the Chukchi, and the Russian "newcomers" developed a sense of cultural difference because of their separate symbolic systems and yet cohered as a community. She explains that relations among the groups have become tenuous since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the subsequent collapse of the local economy. Kerttula's research provides a unique perspective on today's ethnic rivalries within the former USSR. She maintains that these conflicts, not always expressions of ancient animosities, may be efforts toward mutual understanding during times of economic and social change.