Talking to Simon Winchester about Atlantic.

I recently had the good fortune to spend an hour speaking to Simon Winchester at his hotel in downtown Vancouver.


We talked about a future book that he’s been researching during a recent trip along the west coast of the USA and Canada.


But we were really there to discuss his fascinating new biography of the Atlantic Ocean.


During this interview we talk about what may have been the first documented voyage into the Atlantic beyond the Pillars of Hercules and what the Phoenicians discovered at Mogador.


We touch on Simon’s deep affection for Newfoundland and it’s importance in the history of our human relationship with the Atlantic Ocean – and of the costs that short-sighted political decisions can have on the long-term economic interests of the people who live there.


We discuss the importance of Lief Eriksson and someone named Snorri.


I did not pass on this opportunity to talk about piracy, the slave trade, buccanneers, privateers, the Golden Coast and the invention of the British Navy. There’s also a brief but graphic discussion of piratical privations and the ruthlessness of life at sea.


We finish with a few brief thoughts on Rachel Carson and how she helped to shape our thinking about the Atlantic Ocean as a living thing that we must take care of.


Listen: Simon Winchester talks to Books on the Radio.


Hope that you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.


Sean Cranbury is the Executive Editor of Books on the Radio. He's also Founder and Creative Director of the Real Vancouver Writers' Series. Sean is General Manager at the legendary Storm Crow Tavern and consults with literary arts organizations on digital communications strategies.

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