Publication Date: 04/08/2022 ISBN: 9780008358228 Category:

A History of Water

Edward Wilson-Lee

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 04/08/2022 ISBN: 9780008358228 Category:




A Times History Book of the Year 2022
A TLS Book of the Year 2022
‘Exhilarating and whip-smart’ THE SUNDAY TIMES

From award-winning writer Edward Wilson-Lee, this is a thrilling true historical detective story set in sixteenth-century Portugal.

A History of Water follows the interconnected lives of two men across the Renaissance globe. One of them – an aficionado of mermen and Ethiopian culture, an art collector, historian and expert on water-music – returns home from witnessing the birth of the modern age to die in a mysterious incident, apparently the victim of a grisly and curious murder. The other – a ruffian, vagabond and braggart, chased across the globe from Mozambique to Japan – ends up as the national poet of Portugal.

The stories of Damiao de Gois and Luis de Camoes capture the extraordinary wonders that awaited Europeans on their arrival in India and China, the challenges these marvels presented to longstanding beliefs, and the vast conspiracy to silence the questions these posed about the nature of history and of human life.

Like all good mysteries, everyone has their own version of events.

Publisher Review

EARLY PRAISE FOR A HISTORY OF WATER 'A wonderful - and wonder-full - recreation of a crucial episode in European history...the book has a rare beauty: written with elegant restraint, its every page is rich in a numinous sense of vanishings and misunderstandings' Daily Telegraph 'A very few times in the course of a reader's life a book appears that shatters one's assumptions about how and why things came to pass. A History of Water is one such book. A mind-blowing achievement' Alberto Manguel, author of The Library at Night 'A truly engrossing read. Wilson-Lee has the rare knack of re-visiting even the most familiar places as if they were being discovered for the first time. His prose is rich, fluent, absorbing, and free from any affectation. He guides his readers through a kaleidoscope of detail, interrelating various themes with consummate skill, each time shedding very bright light on the origins of global history while remaining firmly rooted in the most meticulous yet unobtrusive scholarship' Fernando Cervantes, author of Conquistadores 'This is a terrific book... Edward Wilson-Lee sheds new light on both the Iberian voyages of discovery and on the way the Reformation affected everyone at the time, and raises questions that have gone on troubling us ever since: How can I know myself if I cannot know the Other?' Gabriel Josipovici, author of What Ever Happened to Modernism? 'I adored this. Not just a real-life murder mystery but a gloriously vivid picture of the early modern world and its global networks... This is a dazzling, encyclopaedic history' Dennis Duncan, author of Index, A History of The

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible