It is difficult to envision the sheer quantity of pearls dredged up from the New World by sixteenth-century colonists. An average of a 1,000 pounds of pearl per year in tax revenue alone. The social, political, and ecological challenges of producing such richness is the subject of a fascinating book by historian Molly Walsh reviewed here.
Pirate or privateer? In practice, identical, but in terms of legal and social standing, the designations were considered worlds away in the contested waters of the North Atlantic. How did sanctioned privateering transition over time to being considered lawless pirating?
The Anthropocene accounts for a vast swath of human and natural history, but there are limits to its scope encouraging the proliferation of numerous other 'cenes. From the Chthulucene to the Anglocene, these terms explain our ecological present from a myriad of different perspectives.
Poetry has long been fascinated with describing the dislocating effects of sea travel and still serves as a conceptual refuge for those lost at sea in a contemporary world.