David Abulafia is Emeritus Professor of Mediterranean History at Cambridge University. He is the author of many books, including The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean.
David Abulafia takes us on an epic journey through the open (ocean) spaces of the earth, tracing interconnections that brought together people, religions, and civilizations . . .This is history on a grand scale that is destined to become a standard work, written with a vivid clarity that ranges from dodos to Aztec lords, Rapa Nui to cod fishers in Newfoundland waters. By any standard, this is a brilliant historical achievement that leaves one in awe of the author's intellectual breadth. - Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariner Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans Were my caravel ever to be becalmed, lost in some hot oceanic doldrum, I would hope to have David Abulafia's grand book on hand, both to remind me of sailors who braved wilder and colder seas in centuries past, thereby linking continents and archipelagos and civilizations together -- but also in the hope that just one of its vast multitude of pages might eventually catch the faint breath of a tropical breeze, and waft me up onto a shipping lane, and back onto my unwittingly abandoned course. - Simon Winchester, author of Atlantic and Pacific, as well as The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World In its mixture of supreme storytelling, beautifully drawn characters, fearless scope and rigorous scholarship, it ranks with the very best of world histories. ... From Morocco to Hawaii, Australia to the Persian Gulf, he delivers an intense and thrilling tour de force, filled with pirates, kings, scholars, monsters, conquerors, sailors, merchants, adventurers, slavers and slaves, taking us from the age of triremes and longships, hulks and cogs, dhows and junks, galleons and dreadnoughts, all the way up to the container ship. - Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Daily Telegraph His grasp of the material is not so much encyclopaedic as breathtaking ... this is a tour de force. Writing history on this scale is challenging and enormously impressive; the author deserves applause for a magisterial achievement. - Peter Frankopan, Sunday Times The Boundless Sea is a work of immense scholarship, a forensic tribute to human enterprise. ... After reading this book your horizons will be wonderfully expanded, and you'll be as eager as the Ancient Mariner to retell its stories... Abulafia's masterpiece has the potential to alter the way we understand the human story and our place within it. - Horatio Clare, Spectator Nothing less than a history of humanity written from the perspective of the sea. - Jerry Brotton, Financial Times The Boundless Sea reminds us brilliantly of once brand-new landfalls - times when endless oceans glittered with primordial possibilities. - Derek Turner, Irish Times Feast on the magnificent bounty that Abulafia has to offer. - Gerard DeGroot, The Times Spectator Books of the Year The Times Books of the Year Financial Times Books of the Year Sunday Times Books of the Year