Sacred RiverBook - 2007
"THAMES- SACRED RIVER is about the river from source to sea. It covers the river's history from prehistoric times to the present, its flora and fauna, paintings and photographs inspired by the Thames, its geology, smells and colours, its literature, laws and landscape, its magic and myths, its architecture, trade and weather. The reader learns about the fish that swim in the river and the boats that ply its surface; about floods and tides; hauntings and suicides; miasmas and sewers; locks, weirs, embankments and bridges. The most recent bridge opened in 2002 (the Millennium walking bridge); the oldest in 1250 (appropriately called New Bridge, it is in Oxfordshire). 'My fair lady' of London Bridge is Falling Down is identified as Eleanor, Queen of Henry lll; Mapledurham House near Henley as Toad Hall of Wind in the Willows. In AD 54, the river was 14 feet shallower than it is now, flowing sluggishly at low tide through sandbanks and swamps- thus Caesar and his legions could cross the Thames and defeat the British tribes. 1700 years later, malaria in the marshes of the estuary was so terrible that some men had 'from 5 to 6, to 14 or 15 wives,' a consequence, as Ackroyd writes dril
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, 2007.
Characteristics: xiv, 490 p.,  p. of plates :,ill. (some col.), maps ;,24 cm.