Tides by Jonathan White review – getting to grips with the power of the ocean


This post is by Philip Hoare from Books | The Guardian


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A scintillating exploration of how ebb and flow influence our cultures and determine our fate, from the musings of Da Vinci to the effect of waves on time itself

I write this waiting for the tide to return so I can swim in it. My time is determined by the tides. The sea rules our lives in subtle ways – in what its tides reveal as well as in what they cover. Their movements are not only essential to our lives, but they may also be where we began: 3.5bn years ago, when the moon was much closer to Earth, the tides rose several hundred feet high, leaving huge intertidal zones that stretched for hundreds of miles and created “a gritty, soupy, fecund environment that may have provided the perfect nursery for life’s beginnings”, as Jonathan White writes in his revelatory new book.

The sense of the mythic draw of ...