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London's Thames: The River That Shaped a City and Its History

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Very interesting

    This is an insightful intriguing look at how the Thames River shaped London with its uncanny tides that enabled major shipping as they run in both directions. Dubbing the city as 'London-on-Sea' Gavin Weightman makes a strong case that it is the river that turned London into the great city it is. Mindful of Kornblum¿s AT SEA IN THE CITY: NEW YORK FROM THE WATER'S EDGE, Mr. Weightman gets very specific in supporting his theory with evidence from history and the present. Tidbits from Caesar to the Regency to Dickens and to the Millennium make for a fine time especially for those fascinated by what shaped a major urban area as well as for tourists and residents whether it is a odious dirty plunge into sewage, boat races, fish, floods, towers and bridges, etc. Numerous black and white photos enhance a picture of a city that ahs been around since the Romans founded Londinium as a military encampment in the first century. T.S. Eliot, who understood mighty rivers having been raised in St. Louis, summarizes the impact best in the Waste Land when he names the Thames as London¿s 'strong brown God' flowing and controlling much of the history of the city. This is a fascinating work that is fun to read over a few days.............. Harriet Klausner

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