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June 26, 2022 @ 10:45 am - 12:15 pm
  • In Conversation

Sea Sagas of the North – Felixstowe

Jules Pretty
Jules Pretty Sea Sagas of the North


Felixstowe Museum, Viewpoint Road
Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 3TW United Kingdom
£6 concessions. Joint ticket with Harwich event £15 (£10 concessions). Ferry tickets must be purchased separately - £5 one way

Felixstowe Book Festival and Essex Book Festival are teaming up for a special celebration of the publication of writer and environmentalist Jules Pretty’s latest book Sea Sagas of the North: Travels and Tales of Warming Waters. 

There are shadows on the warming, northern seas. Long ago, refugees fled Doggerland when seas encroached. Now rising seas threaten low-lying shores once again… Join us for a story-telling journey through history that reconnects Nature with ancient heritages.

The day begins at Felixstowe Museum, then sets sail via the Foot and Bicycle Ferry from Felixstowe to Harwich Quay – replete with Salty Tales from award-winning storyteller Glenys Newton – before concluding at The Redoubt Fort. Audiences are invited to join us for part or all of the day.

This event is:

Event 1: 10.45am – Felixstowe Museum, Viewpoint Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 3TW

If you would like to join us for the whole day please book the following tickets as well:

Travel: 1.30pm – Ferry from Felixstowe to Harwich – please book ferry tickets online in advance at harwichharbourferry.com

Event 2: 2.15pm – Harwich Redoubt Fort, Main Road, Harwich, CO12 3LT

Travel: 4.10pm – Last ferry from Harwich to Felixstowe – please book ferry tickets online in advance at harwichharbourferry.com

Tickets: £8 / £6 for each event or £15 / £10 for both events | Ferry tickets £5 one way.
Joint ticket: The discount for the joint ticket will be applied at checkout when you add both the Felixstowe and Harwich events to your online basket.

Box Office:
Book tickets for the Sea Sagas of the North events online or via Mercury Theatre 01206 573948 (10am – 8pm Tuesday to Saturday)
Book tickets for the ferry online at harwichharbourferry.com


Sea Sagas of the North: Travels and Tales at Warming Waters by Jules Pretty

“The kindness and stories of coastal people, the cruelty and beauty of a middle sea.”

Sea Sagas Cover There are shadows on this shining sea. Fish cities have shrunk to hamlets, old ports have been levelled and harbours are full of warming water yet there’s barely a single ship.

An Arctic author asks, how do you say goodbye to a glacier? A burnished skipper, four score years of staring at horizons, leans across the table and says, you know, we were more tolerant in those days, when we sailed and steamed and brought home stories.

They travelled on a sea that once was dry, and now was warming once again, washing at the lower lands. It seems more storms are gathering. Now could come a crushing silence, three sheets on every sail, the blue marine quite undone. There was nothing worse, drowning full in sight of shore.

Sea Sagas of the North interweaves prose chapters and alliterative sagas. Each chapter tells of travels across shores, seas and islands. Each saga tells of tales and times from across the ages.

This is the territory of sagas, the Norse and Anglo-Saxon gods of old, and the mythic era of Viking expansion by clinkered longship. It was when dragons protected people from themselves by hiding gold and silver hoards.

These crossing tales and sagas begin at elemental wilds of north-west Iceland. They take in the Lofoten Isles of Norway, Sjælland and the Øresund in Denmark, cross the sea to the eastern shore of England, and travel to the north lands of deepwater ports, inland abbeys and holy shore of Lindisfarne, and then to the Atlantic isles of Shetland and St Kilda, and wind-torn fragments of the Faroes, completing the circle back at Iceland’s fire and ice.

The book comes to a conclusion with the saga of the Drowning of Doggerland, how the once dry steppe was flooded by the warming seas, making the people of the plains refugees. The book finishes as Ragnarök appears to loom. What can be done to avoid more fire and flame? These are times when new stories might be needed, as the growing global crises wash at shores.


About the Author – Jules Pretty OBE, PFHEA, FRSB, FRSA

Jules Pretty 2-minJules Pretty is Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex, and Director of the Centre for Public and Policy Engagement. He is formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2010-19).

His sole-authored books include Sea Sagas of the North (forthcoming, 2022), Green Minds and a Good Life (forthcoming, 2022), The East Country (2017), The Edge of Extinction (2014), This Luminous Coast (2011, 2014), The Earth Only Endures (2007), Agri-Culture (2002) and Regenerating Agriculture (1995).

He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, former Deputy-Chair of the UK government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, and has served on advisory committees for BBSRC and the Royal Society.

He was presenter of the 1999 BBC Radio 4 series Ploughing Eden, a contributor and writer for the 2001 BBC TV Correspondent programme The Magic Bean, and a panellist in 2007 for Radio 4’s The Moral Maze.

He received a 1997 award from the Indian Ecological Society, was appointed A D White Professor-at-Large by Cornell University from 2001, and is Chief & Founding Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

He received an OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, an honorary degree from Ohio State University in 2009, and the British Science Association Presidential Medal (Agriculture and Food) in 2015.

He is currently a trustee for WWF-UK, and was appointed President of Essex Wildlife Trust in 2019. This Luminous Coast was winner of New Angle Prize for Literature in 2013, and The East Country was winner of the East Anglian book of the year in 2018.

He is among the top 1% most cited scientists in the world, and is host of the podcast Louder Than Words.
Research bibliometrics: h-index 99, 61.8k citations (Google Scholar); h-index 53 (SciVal))

You can find Jules on Twitter @JulesPretty1.

Website: julespretty.com


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Felixstowe Museum
Viewpoint Road
Felixstowe, Suffolk IP11 3TW United Kingdom
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