The vanished ocean at the heart of this book formed a little over 250 million years ago as the last supercontinent, Pangaea, slowly assembled. At that moment, nearly all the Earth’s landmasses were united in a single unit consisting of two halves – Gondwanaland in the southern hemisphere and Laurasia in the northern – stretching almost pole to pole and joined by an isthmus in the west.
Follow Literary Review on Twitter
'Only in Britain, perhaps, could spy chiefs – conventionally viewed as masters of subterfuge – be so highly regarded as ethical guides.'
In this month's Bookends, @AdamCSDouglas looks at the curious life of Henry Labouchere: a friend of Bram Stoker, 'loose cannon', and architect of the law that outlawed homosexual activity in Britain.
'We have all twenty-nine of her Barsetshire novels, and whenever a certain longing reaches critical mass we read all twenty-nine again, straight through.'
Patricia T O'Conner on her love for Angela Thirkell. (£)