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.
In the great disorder of wartime Berlin, Lucia Muller-Rossi was an unofficial star: mistress to an Ambassador, the whole world to her young son, and guardian of all the lovely things her Jewish friends were forced to leave behind as they took the trains to the death camps. Sixty years later, one of those fine pieces sits for sale in the window of Lucia's antiques shop, and its true owner happens to pass by. In that moment, a whole lifetime of silence cracks open and Lucia's family face the wrenching duty of examining a past almost too horrifying to remember.
Martin Arkenhout, a seventeen-year-old Dutchman travelling across the States, kills his young American travelling companion, Seth Goodman, and adopts his identity. Some months later he takes - and takes on - other lives, adopting another passport, set of credit cards and identity. A decade and many lives later, now back in the Netherlands, he kills and becomes a young British art historian, Christopher Hart, and follows his plans to go to Portugal. But Christopher is being followed from London by Costas, another art historian, investigating the disappearance of a series of valuable prints from a priceless book, and before he leaves the Netherlands, Martin runs into his own mother on a tram. In the confusion of the moment he identifies himself as Hart, and for the first time Martin's series of seamless killings and identities runs into trouble.
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