“‘Of all the world’s continents only the Mediterranean is liquid,’ wrote Jean Cocteau. It’s a refreshing thought. The Med is not an empty space. It’s a continent whose citizens inhabit its coastal rim. They look inwards across the water, rather than over their shoulders towards some landlocked capital. Paris is nothing like Cairo. Rome has little in common with Rabat. Yet in their characters coastal Marseilles is very much like Alexandria. Marseilles and Alexandria have the same way of looking at the world. Barcelona, Thessalonica, Tangier, Palermo, Beirut, Valletta … walk down the street in any of those ports and you feel the same thing. Why is that?”So asks Nicholas Woodsworth at the start of his enchanting journey around the old seaports of the eastern Mediterranean. The son of a Canadian diplomat and former Financial Times correspondent, Woodsworth wants to understand what makes a true Mediterranean. He is curious how environment and history have conspired to instil in them “a capacity for connection, a sense of attachment and belonging, that in most places in the western world is fast unravelling”.
Become enraptured by the Mediterranean with this new book featured in The Guardian.