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  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press

The Boundless River: Stories from the Realm of the Rhine

Mathijs Deen

4 Reviews

Rated 0

Netherlands, Germany, European history, Travel writing

A beautifully imaginative work of non-fiction about the Rhine, from its birth to the present day, told through stories of those who lived along its shores.

The Boundless River takes the reader into a unique world ? the twilight zone between fact and fiction, science and imagination ? and on a journey which moves effortlessly from a time in prehistory, long before the existence of a European continent, to the present day. Along the way Deen encounters paleontologists, geologists, museum curators, taxidermists, fishermen and skippers who work the boats, who still see the Rhine as a living entity.

From the mighty hippos that grazed its banks millions of years ago, to the weary salmon that saw their habitat slowly change and the aurochs that grazed its shores; from the primordial Steinheim Woman to the Roman general Corbulo who commanded settlements along its delta, to a young Goethe: in all of their stories the Rhine is ever present, sometimes as the main character, sometimes as an extra, as a theatre of war, a border between nations, a bathing spot, a killer, a vital transport route.

Beautifully fluid, rich and captivating, The Boundless River shows how the Rhine connects and divides, terrifies, comforts, carries and swallows, and has done since the beginning of time.

Translated from the Dutch by Jane Hedley-Prole and Jonathan Reeder

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Praise for The Boundless River: Stories from the Realm of the Rhine

  • Deen is an exceptional prose stylist - Het Parool

  • Deen has an impressive historical knowledge that enables him to travel effortlessly through the centuries. - De Volkskrant

  • An extraordinary capacity for empathy, a sound style, conscientious research and a flair for succinct details. Each story is a sketch of a life, of a society, of a zeitgeist. - De Morgen

  • Like Geert Mak, he knows how to bring history to life, thanks to his compelling style and his poetic imagination. - De Volkskrant

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