Blenheim Palace Literary Festival

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Host: Blenheim Palace Literary Festival
Location: The Indian Room, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP
Speaker: Neil Ascherson


Journalist Neal Ascherson launches a new partnership between The Folio Society and Blenheim Palace Literary Festival with a talk on his latest book about the history and importance of the Black Sea shores.

Ascherson was travelling through the area in 1991 when a group of Communist conspirators seized Mikhail Gorbachev at his summer home in the Crimea. Far from leading to a renewal of hardline Communist rule, the incident eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ascherson says he was made aware of the importance of the Black Sea region, where East meets West. In Black Sea, he takes the reader on a tour of the region, where East meets West, recounting its earliest history, how the poet Ovid was exiled to its shores, and Byzantium times when caviar was so abundant it was considered a poor man’s food. Black Sea, which combines personal narrative with a historian’s insight, is also the story of a modern ecological disaster with the once abundant beluga, sturgeon, anchovy and dolphins at record lows.

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