Peter Ackroyd "Thames: Sacred River"
The Thames displays the same qualities as London: The Biography: scholarship, wit, discursiveness, lovely descriptive writing, anecdotes, spirit of place and character. It is hugely enjoyable and sure to be another mammoth bestseller. The Thames is about the river from source to sea, from prehistoric times to the present, its flora and fauna, the paintings and photographs inspired by the Thames, its geology, smells and colours, its literature, laws, magic and myths, its architecture, trade and weather. The reader learns about the fishes that swim in the river and the boats that ply on its surface, about floods and tides, hauntings and suicides, miasmas and sewers, locks, weirs and embankments. Here is Shelley floating on the river under poetical beech trees, Hogarth getting roaring drunk on a boat trip to Gravesend, William Morris wondering whether the same Thames water flowed past his windows in Hammersmith as flowed past his house at Kelmscott, 100...