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A Human History of the Oceans

David Abulafia & Sam Leith

Jewish Book Week 2021

David Abulafia speaker
Sam Leith chair

This is an online streaming event

After the live broadcast, ticket holders and on-demand bookers will be able to watch this performance until midnight on 31 March. For information on how to use KPlayer please refer to our helpful guide or see the KPlayer FAQ.


For most of human history, the seas and oceans have been the main means of long-distance communication between peoples. To this day 90% of global trade is conducted this way and it has been pivotal to the spread of ideas and religion since the Polynesians in the first century. Historian David Abulafia joins us with The Boundless Sea, a book of the year in the Sunday Times and Financial Times and winner of the Wolfson History Prize, charting our relationship with the bodies of water that surround us.

Click here to purchase a copy of The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans by David Abulafia from Blackwell’s.


David Abulafia is Emeritus Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge. His previous books include Frederick II, The Western Mediterranean Kingdoms and The Great Sea, which has been translated into a dozen languages. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, and in 2003 was made Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana in recognition of his work on Italian and Mediterranean history. He won the 2020 Wolfson History Prize for The Boundless Sea.

Sam Leith is literary editor at the Spectator, a columnist at the Financial Times and Prospect, and his work appears regularly in the Guardian, The Times and the TLS among others. His books include You Talkin’ to Me? Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama.


The George Webber Memorial Event

A Human History of the Oceans

David Abulafia & Sam Leith

Jewish Book Week 2021

Date & start time:Fri 5 Mar – 10.30am
Price:£9.50
Performers:David Abulafia, Sam Leith
Genres:Jewish Book Week, Online Events, Words

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