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Simon Schama on how he changed his mind about Jags, Iggy Pop—and John Major

The historian answers Prospect's brief encounter questions—including why he wants to be thrown in the Thames after he dies

Simon Schama illustrated by Nick Taylor

What is the first news event you can recall?

The sinking of the Flying Enterprise, January 1952. I was six, nearly seven, and pictured the gallant Captain Carlsen alone (or nearly—he had a tugboat mate with him) on the ship listing 50 degrees, trying to sail it to harbour intact but giving up after six days. It seemed spectacularly Man vs Cruel Sea, although it was later said that if he’d tried to make it to Cork not Falmouth, the ship would have…

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