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This powerful novel about fathers, unfulfilled lives, culpability, memory and history has been short listed for the Australian/Vogel Literary Award. The protagonist, William Webber, is ninety-six, has a rare medical ailment, and suffers from a recurring watery nightmare. He also knows at thing or two about history, since in the 1920s he was there for a bit of it himself when he decided to solve the mystery of his father's death. This novel is a richly ironic blend of mystery, romance and Rider Haggard set amongst the greed and corruption of deep-sea pearling.
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Peter Burke is Professor of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Emmanuel College.
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