Adam Nicolson

Searching for the sublime in deep dark holes

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Edmund Burke, as a young Irish lawyer in 1756, first made the distinction between beauty and sublimity. Beauty for Burke…

The catch from the Dogger Bank is landed on the beach at Schevingen from Dutch fishing vessels — or ‘doggers’

Fishing for meaning in vanished Doggerland

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Somewhere deep in the water-thick layers of Time Song, Julia Blackburn says, funnily, that in Danish, ‘the word for book…

With the all-encompassing model of Moby-Dick behind him, Hoare presents us with a vast and billowing medley of marinaria

Spirits from the vasty deep…

29 July 2017 9:00 am

‘The sea defines us, connects us, separates us,’ Philip Hoare has written. His prize-winning Leviathan, then a collection of essays…

Perils of the Pacific

29 September 2016 1:00 pm

In the great Iberian empires of the 16th and 17th centuries, a career was already avail-able in global administration not…

The most gripping sea-catastrophe writing I have read outside Conrad

10 October 2015 9:00 am

When the novelist David Vann was 13, his father — a difficult, unhappy dreamer in his thirties, constantly in dread,…

‘Thetis giving Achilles his arms’ (fresco), Giulio Romano, 1492–1546

A new translation of the Iliad

8 August 2015 9:00 am

‘Why do another translation of Homer?’ Richmond Lattimore asked in the foreword to his own great translation of the Iliad…

A ‘nurse log’ — a tree stump in which a seed has germinated, thereby avoiding browsing herbivores and the overshading of undergrowth. From Uncommon Ground by Dominick Tyler

Fizmer, feetings, flosh, blinter - enjoy these words and forget them immediately, advises Adam Nicolson

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Wolfsnow is a dangerous blizzard at sea; slogger the sucking sound made by waves against a ship’s sides; ammil the…

Iceland, depicted in a World Atlas of 1553

The Edge of the World: deep subject, shallow history

8 November 2014 9:00 am

The Mediterranean glows in our conception of the Continent, the warm source of everything that is best in us, the…