From award-winning writer Edward Wilson-Lee, this is a thrilling true historical detective story set in sixteenth-century Portugal. A History of Water follows the interconnected lives of two men across the Renaissance globe. One of them - an aficionado of mermen and Ethiopian culture, an art collector, historian and expert on water-music - returns home from witnessing the birth of the modern age to die in a mysterious incident, apparently the victim of a grisly and curious murder.
The other - a ruffian, vagabond and braggart, chased across the globe from Mozambique to Japan - ends up as the national poet of Portugal. The stories of Damiao de Gois and Luis de Camoes capture the extraordinary wonders that awaited Europeans on their arrival in India and China, the challenges these marvels presented to longstanding beliefs, and the vast conspiracy to silence the questions these posed about the nature of history and of human life. Like all good mysteries, everyone has their own version of events.