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Tide
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A Sunday Times 'Must Read' book. Described by the Sunday Times as "a gently studious Bill Bryson crossed with an upbeat and relaxed WG Sebald", Tide is "a superb book... a delight to read. It is profound and powerful, and should win prizes." From Cnut to D-Day, the history and science of the unceasing tide is explored for the first time. Half of the world's population lives in coastal regions lapped by tidal waters. Yet how little most of us know about the tide - a key force on our planet that has altered the course of history and will transform our future. Our ability to predict and understand the tide depends on centuries of science, from the observations of Aristotle and the theories of Newton to today's supercomputer calculations. This story is punctuated here by notable tidal episodes in history, from Caesar's thwarted invasion of Britain to the catastrophic flooding of Venice, and interwoven with a rich folklore that continues to inspire art and literature today. With Aldersey-Williams as our guide to the most feared and celebrated tidal features on the planet, from the original maelstrom in Scandinavia to the world's highest tides in Nova Scotia to the crumbling coast of East Anglia, the importance of the tide, and the way it has shaped - and will continue to shape - our civilization, becomes startlingly clear.
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About the Author

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture - including Periodic Tales, Anatomies and The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century - and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.

Reviews

A spring tide of colour and historical anecdote laps over the more austere mudflats of the actual science. So much so that I find myself looking forward to the next piece of technical exposition -- Tom Whipple * The Times * Imagine, if possible, a gently studious Bill Bryson crossed with an upbeat and relaxed WG Sebald. It is a superb book... a delight to read. It is profound and powerful, and should win prizes. -- James McConnachie * Sunday Times * This fascinating book deftly explores the dramatic history, critical importance, and scientific wonder of the tides. Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a marvelous guide who takes the reader on a sweeping and thought-provoking adventure into the heart of one of the most captivating, mysterious, and elemental forces of nature -- Eric Jay Dolin, author of Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse Prepare for a voyage with the best of companions - Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a storyteller supreme, and he's found a subject worthy of his talents -- Edward Dolnick, author of The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful -- Matt Ridley on 'Periodic Tales' Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in surprise -- Richard Cohen on 'Periodic Tales' * Sunday Times * Aldersey-Williams is full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well -- Graham Farmelo on 'Periodic Tales' * Sunday Telegraph * Engaging and thoughtful... Like some of the most compelling biographers, Aldersey-Williams partly inhabits his subject * Literary Review on The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century * Exposes new facts and ideas every other page -- Horatio Clare * Observer * Aldersey-Williams's corrective meshes a history of the science with tide-related technologies and tidally sculpted events. It's an eloquent ebb and flow * Nature *

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