The Sea Inside


See Philip Hoare at one of his upcoming Events.

Read Philip’s op-ed piece on The Dolphins of War, New York Times  



The Sea Inside was released in the USA through Melville House on 8th April.

The Sea Inside US Cover
The Sea Inside US Cover

‘Delightful…. This is not a book following the geography of the sea; nor is it a history of sailing. It is an attempt to establish and examine the oneness that the Maori have understood for years: There is no difference between life on land and life in the sea….A beautifully written memoir/travelogue with readable diversions into philosophy.’


‘Hoare’s words echo those from one of my favorite books, The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson, yet this is entirely Philip Hoare. Tea and toast after a freezing skinny-dip, his sense of the magnificence, mystery and wonder about the sea and its creatures, these moments left me without breath. What a contribution to the tradition of writing about our relationship to the sea and the shore. You nailed it with this one. It’s hitting me right where I live.’

Kate Weiss Duncan, Carmichael’s Bookstore


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Buy the book at

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A startling new book, his most personal to date, from Philip Hoare, winner of the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction:

The Sea Inside UK Cover
The Sea Inside UK Cover

The sea surrounds us. It gives us life, provides us with the air we breathe and the food we eat. It is where we came from, and it carries our commerce. It represents home and migration, ceaseless change and constant presence. It covers two-thirds of our planet. Yet caught up in our everyday lives, we seem to ignore it, and what it means. In The Sea Inside, Philip Hoare sets out to rediscover the sea, its islands, birds and beasts. He begins on the south coast where he grew up, a place of family memory and an abiding sense of aloneness and almost monastic escape offered by the sea. From there he travels to the other side of the world, from the Isle of Wight to the Azores, from Sri Lanka to Tasmania and New Zealand, in search of encounters with animals and people – the wild and the tamed, the living and the extinct. Navigating between human and natural history, between science and myth, he asks what their stories mean for us now, in the twenty-first century, when the sea has never been so important to our present, as well as to our past and future. Along the way we meet an amazing cast of recluses, outcasts, and travellers; from eccentric artists and scientists to miracle-working saints and tattooed warriors; from gothic ravens to the greatest whales and bizarre creatures that may, or may not, be extinct. The Sea Inside is part bestiary, part memoir, part fantastical travelogue. It takes us on a magical journey of discovery, filled with astounding tales of faith and fear, wilderness and destruction, mortality and beauty. But more than anything, it is the story of the natural world, and the sea inside us all.


The Sea Inside – Reviews:

‘This book is as bracing as a great blustery lungful of ozone-filled air … Hoare has wonderful, almost child-like relish for colourful stories and incredible facts … His passionate engagement will infect you. As you close this book, you will probably feel as ecstatic as the author does after one of his cold morning dips.’

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

‘As befits its subject, ‘The Sea Inside’ has a broader, more protean remit [than Leviathan], but Hoare’s accounts of ravens or ecstatic monks always somehow find their way back to cetaceans. His is a profound and lyrical love affair.’

Bella Bathurst, The Observer

‘A collage of memoir, cultural history and travelogue in which the author makes pilgrimage to ever more distant seas to swim with whales and dolphins. These encounters yield some of the most vivid writing in the book, charged with the same awe and joy that characterised Hoare’s retelling in the last chapter of Leviathan of a close encounter with a sperm whale near the Azores … glorious stuff.’

Caspar Henderson, The Guardian, ‘Book of the Week’

‘This enthralling book exhibits Hoare’s talent both for writing about nature and for bringing to life the human dramas played out over centuries on or beside the sea.’

Ian Critchey, Sunday Times

‘Hoare’s enthusiasms are boundless, tempered only by a pleasing morbidity … Each page is home to a new nugget of interest … The Sea Inside is packed full of strange delights … ’

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday


The Sea Inside – Media:


Video from recent event…

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The Sea Inside – Source Notes:

Sources for the new book – Click Here to Download .Doc

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