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26 November

Radio 4 Book of the Week

It is fantastic to hear that OV Michael Pye’s (Br 57-63) book Antewerp: The Glory Years will be read by Michael Begley on BBC Radio 4 as their Book of the Week. Michael’s book, which came out in August 2021, has received some fantastic reviews, with critics saying it “reads as brilliantly as a novel by Hilary Mantel” and “merits a place near Simon Schama’s The Embarrassment of Riches”.

Radio 4 Book of the Week

OVs can tune into BBC Radio 4 at 9.45am each morning (8.45pm on Wednesday 1st December), starting this coming Monday 29th November, when we will enjoy the first instalment, A Golden Age Dawns. This will take us back to the sixteenth century when the city of Antwerp is transformed into a rich and cultured European powerhouse.

Michael is a well-travelled and experienced novelist, journalist and historian as well as having written and presented various documentaries on channels including the BBC. He studied at the University in Perugia followed by Oxford. A varied career in journalism followed as well as lots of travel and adventures around the globe.

Radio 4 Book of the Week Michael Pye

Michael has written many books including King Over The Water, which exposed the machinations of the Duke of Windsor in the wartime Bahamas, Maximum City, the biography of New York, that set out to find the roots and history of the city’s magic, work of fiction Taking Lives, which was later adapted into a film starring Angelina Jolie and The Edge of the World: how the North Sea made us who we are, which the Observer said was “a radical perspective on the modern world” and The Times reviewed as “brilliantly illuminating”.

Of his new book Antwerp: the Glory Years, Michael told us, “Antwerp in the sixteenth century was the hub of the world Europeans knew, a town of secrets, deals, discoveries, but it gets hidden by what happened next: Rubens, mostly. It’s irresistible to go looking for a glamorous lost city that doesn’t involve taking a dugout up a tropical river or crossing a desert; you just take the Thalys or the Eurostar!”

We look forward to tuning in for next week’s Radio 4 Book of the Week and a huge well done Michael with the successes of this book!