Combining well-chosen historical stories, strong characters and thrilling events, THE THAMES reveals a vital, yet silent, figure that has helped shape British history.
The Thames is liquid history' John Burns MP (1858-1943)
As the silver thread woven through Britain's centuries, the Thames is the subject of this significant biography. Following its course, geologically and chronologically, THE THAMES will chart the growing importance of the river and some of the dramatic historic events it was central to.
Since Tudor times, the Thames has been a key factor in our understanding of the British nation. At Runnymede, in a field by the river, England's barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. At Tilbury, on the banks of the Thames, in 1588, Elizabeth exhorted her troops to defy the Spanish Armada. In dockland, in east London, in 1940, local residents absorbed the full fury of Hitler's dreaded Luftwaffe. Hitler tried, and failed, to destroy the Port of London, symbol of British commercial power, reservoir of the material needed to fuel and fund the British war effort. This is a book about a river, but also about the evolution, though not always smooth, of a national identity.
This resplendent book combines a dramatist's empathy with people and a scholar's devotion to facts . . . A magnificent, multi-layered achievement, a 'must-read - for all lovers of London
Liza Picard, author of DR JOHNSON'S LONDON, RESTORATION LONDON and ELIZABETH'S LONDON - Here is a rich and satisfying riverbank picnic of a book. The narrative sparkles and gurgles like the river itself
Robert Lacey, author of GREAT TALES FROM ENGLISH HISTORY - * Beautifully written, wide-ranging and rich in anecdote, Schneer s history of the nation s most famous river flows effortlessly, merging its waters with the ebb and flow of English history
John Brewer - 'Elegantly recounted, with an eye for vivid detail that sticks in the mind