The Edge of the World: A Cultural History of the North Sea and the Transformation of Europe

Michael Pye (Author) Steven Crossley (Read by)


An epic adventure ranging from the terror of the Vikings to the golden age of cities: Michael Pye tells the amazing story of how modernity emerged on the shores of the North Sea.

Saints and spies, pirates and philosophers, artists and intellectuals: they all criss-crossed the grey North Sea in the so-called dark ages, the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Europe's mastery over the oceans. Now the critically acclaimed Michael Pye reveals the cultural transformation sparked by those men and women: the ideas, technology, science, law, and moral codes that helped create our modern world.

This is the magnificent lost history of a thousand years. It was on the shores of the North Sea where experimental science was born, where women first had the right to choose whom they married; there was the beginning of contemporary business transactions and the advent of the printed book. In The Edge of the World, Michael Pye draws on an astounding breadth of original source material to illuminate this fascinating region during a pivotal era in world history.

Product Details

Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date
February 12, 2019
5.7 X 1.1 X 5.6 inches | 0.55 pounds
Compact Disc
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Michael Pye has been an acquisitions editor for New Page Books since 2003. He developed a healthy appetite for the unexplained by watching far too many episodes of In Search Of hosted by Leonard Nimoy after school instead of doing his homework, which turned him into a reader of books on the strange and unexplained. He earned a BA in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
Steven Crossley, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, has built a career on both sides of the Atlantic as an actor and audiobook narrator, for which he has won more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a nominee for the prestigious Audie Award. He is a member of the internationally renowned theater company Complicite and has appeared in numerous theater, television, film, and radio dramas.


Beautifully written and thoughtfully researched.

-- "Wall Street Journal"

At its most meaningful, history involves a good deal of art and storytelling. Pye's book is full of both...[With] a mostly forgotten cast of medieval shippers, mauraders, thinkers, and tinkerers, Pye challenges us to consider how we got to be where-and who-we are.

-- "New York Times Book Review"

He writes about difficult concepts with vivid details and stories, often jump-cutting from exposition to drama like a film. It's complicated, but fun.

-- "Economist (London)"

A double pleasure, first for its unique, illuminating vision of a time largely unknown and misunderstood by modern readers, but even more for its exemplary prose. Pye's writing is vigorous and precise, the work of a writer who revels in his subject and who nurses a fondness for its many curious byways and paradoxes.

-- "Dallas Morning News"

From a new perspective on the Vikings to an examination of information as a form of currency, Pye's book offers an engaging and enlightening look at a little understood time and place.

-- " Columbus Dispatch"

Pye's vivid prose proves that this time was anything but dark.

-- " Explorer's Journal"

A brilliant history of the Dark Ages showing the growth and development of science, business, fashion, law, politics, and other significant institutions-a joy to read and reread.

-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"