The Way to the Sea, by Caroline Crampton (Granta 2019)

Neil's picture

Books and TV series about the Thames River seem to be many and varied recently. This must be one of the very best - it's well researched, well written and the author has a personal connection with the river. Her South African parents sailed to London when the author was young, and she spent her teenage years living on their yacht on the river. She traces the river from its origin in Gloucestershire, through the City and finally to the North Sea. Many of the stories she tells are not widely known. There are historical and literary tales, stories about criminals and prisons, wildlife, pollution and sewage, shipbuilding and military activity. A fascinating and highly recommended book.