London's River: A History of the Thames

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9781851456444: London's River: A History of the Thames

London owes its very existence to its great river. In the first century AD the Romans built the first wooden crossing there, and a trading post sprang up at its northern end. Ever since then the Thames has flowed like a great artery through the colourful pageant of the city's history. When the Romans left Britain, it was along the Thames that successive invaders came to attack and sack London. The twin poles of political and religious power, the Tower and Westminster Abbey, were built by the river in the eleventh century, after which numerous great houses and royal palaces appeared along its banks - the Thames providing the city's main transport system throughout the Middle Ages - until royalty finally turned its back on the by now unhealthy river. Commerce and industry would also turn away eventually, but from Roman times until well into the twentieth century the river and port were the main-spring of the city's commercial life. Michael Leapman discusses the history of trade on the river, the growth of its shipyards and docks, and the powerful position of lightermen and watermen in the days when barges, boats and ships and crossed the Pool of London. He also records some of the numerous industries which have flourished by the Thames, from pianos to porcelain, from bricks to beer. The story of the taming of the river with bridges and embankments will appeal to all who love London, and if there is a sadness in the river's loss of importance and in the decline and extinction of London's docks, the book nevertheless ends on an upbeat. Not only is the Thames less polluted that its have been for centuries, the neglected Docklands are once again vibrant with commercial activity. Michael Leapman provides an account of the river's place at the heart of London's history, through plague, fire and war, while over one hundred colour illustrations, ranging from paintings by Canaletto and Kokoschka to the finest modern photography, make "London's River" a unique visual tribute to the "strong brown god".

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Leapman, Michael
Published by Trafalgar Square (1992)
ISBN 10: 1851456449 ISBN 13: 9781851456444
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Michael Leapman
Published by Trafalgar Square (1992)
ISBN 10: 1851456449 ISBN 13: 9781851456444
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Irish Booksellers
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Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1851456449

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