The Sea Inside
In his most personal book yet, the award-winning author Philip Hoare sets out on a yearlong adventure to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain’s Southampton Water and moving in ever widening circles- like the migration patterns of whales- Hoare explores London, the Isle of Wright, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmanie, and New Zealand
Through his encounters with animals and people, we meet memorable characters like Thomas Merton- Catholic poet and “jazz-loving night-club habitué” turned Trappist monk- as well as the author’s great-great-great-uncle, who made his fortune as a slaver and later threw himself off a ship, leaving the whereabouts of the family fortune a mystery.
Hoare brilliantly weaves together literary and natural history- from eccentric scientists, tattooed warriors, legendary ravens, and great whales to wildly exotic creatures believed to be extinct. He swims with pods of hundreds of dolphins, feels their sonar pulse through his body, learns to recognize individual voices of whales, and describes the tender call of mother to child.
Like W.G. Sebald and J.A. Baker before him, Philip Hoare offers up incisive observations that open up the history we all carry within us Attuned to the water and its stories, submersed in the past as well as the present, Hoare brings ongoing revelations from his journey, as well as an endless series of delights from the ever-changing sea.