In recent times, the English Channel has often been the final leg of a treacherous journey for those fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in a new land. But how much does this modern day depiction of the Channel tally with its past?

A Cambridge historian has recently released a book which provides an insight into the historical significance of the Channel. In the first book of its kind, Dr Renaud Morieux explores maritime history, focusing on the experiences of the communities who made their living on or beside the sea during the extended 18th century.

Morieux recounts local and national stories to bring to life the various exchanges that took place between different groups of people during this key time in history.  

Geography students can explore whether nature should be used to create territorial divisions between people and the economic and social implications this may have, such as the conflict that arises over border and migration control. 

PPE students should consider how the Channel facilitated business transactions between the coastal communities of Britain and France (such as fishermen, those in the postal services and smugglers) and the role national governments play in regulating such trade in light of the European Union.

History applicants could analyse debates around identity and sovereignty and whether these have changed over time or are just as pertinent today as they were then.

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