Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

By Simon Winchester

"Variably genial, cautionary, lyrical, admonitory, terrifying, frightening and inspiring…A life of suggestion, go back and forth, studying, mind's eye and reminiscence tell this affecting account." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Blending historical past and anecdote, geography and memory, technological know-how and exposition, New York Times bestselling writer Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A proficient storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester units the good blue sea's epic narrative opposed to the backdrop of mankind's highbrow evolution, telling not just the tale of an ocean, however the tale of civilization. fanatics of Winchester's Krakatoa, the fellow Who enjoyed China, and The Professor and the Madman will love this masterful, penetrating, and resonant story of humanity discovering its means around the ocean of history.

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The workouts of the laboratory and the pc began to slowly take over from the rhythms of the outdated days: the ever-shifting horizons, the knife-sharp winds, the odor of fish and Stockholm tar, the coils of rope, the flap of sails, the keening of gulls, and the thud of marine engines made method for the hum of machines and air-conditioning and the silky sounds of laser printing. Prince Albert I of Monaco was once one of many final of the talented amateurs to be absolutely invested in box oceanography, prior to the calling used to be enveloped by means of the area of technocracy. His curiosity took place at a time whilst nineteenth-century France was once constructing an acute (though quite short-lived) ardour for the ocean, and because it used to be a fondness that greatly concerned an aristocracy that were a little underemployed because the revolution of 1789, it was once carried out with nice variety and élan. The fabulously prosperous Marquis Léopold de Folin was once an early entrant. After a few years spent looking out the ground of the Brittany coast in a very easily switched over trawler, he controlled to cajole the French army to provide him with a full-dress paddle-steamer, the Travailleur, and in her he performed surveys of the seabed within the Bay of Biscay and past; they continue to be classics of scholarship and brio. Prince Albert go well with quickly after and purchased a sleekly based yacht of his personal, the Hirondelle. His next stories of the North Atlantic—especially the Gulf Stream—brought him status and huge admire: he used to be obviously now not the silk-stockinged dilettante that have been before everything intended. 30 His paintings at the nice present took him 3 years and concerned crusing Hirondelle on numerous voyages among the Azores and the Grand Banks and shedding into a variety of sections of the move nearly 1,700 floating objects—beer barrels, glass bottles, and spheres of copper—and seeing the place they ended up. Beachcombers answered to the scrupulously well mannered notes inside of by means of writing to claim that they had discovered far more than 200 of them—discoveries that enabled the younger prince (he ascended to the Monegasque throne simply as this paintings used to be coming to its finish, in 1889) to attract hugely exact maps of the course and power of the Gulf move, of the North Atlantic waft that branched from it, and of the clockwise nature of the North Atlantic gyre regularly. He endured his paintings for many of his years as ruler. He had a 175-foot schooner equipped as a learn vessel, the Princess Alice—the first in an extended line of vessels equipped completely for oceanic research. His specific curiosity was once in catching and cataloging the fishes and different animals that lived within the halfway-deep seas among the continents and the abyssal plains. His lifetime of rest and wealth intended that, in contrast to so much salaried scientists or these subsisting on delivers, he and his ships may possibly stay on station for weeks at a time, with battalions of stewards, chefs, and valets available, and will unwrap the mysteries of oceanic biology as patiently as important. The prince, who died in 1922, left in the back of 3 enduring and ocean-related memorials to his thirty-three years of commonly congenial rule.

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