Title: Mudlarking
Lost and Found on the River Thames

Author: Lara Maiklem

Publisher: Bloomsbury. 2019
ISBN: 976-1-4088-8921-3

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel that I have learnt so much from it about the Thames and its impact on history down the centuries. I particularly liked the writing style. Each chapter, focussing on a location along the river's course, begins with a literary extract describing those who make their living on and from the Thames. The author provides historical details in a very accessible way, supplementing them with her own deductions, hypotheses and intuitions; along the way she shares with us some of her personal biography connecting that to the places she visits. She had a particular connection with her precious Greenwich where she had lived for 13 years.  She also introduces us to some of her mudlark friends who come across as a friendly supportive group of like-minded individuals.

I started reading the hardback edition and when I spotted that it was also available in audio format I didn't think twice before downloading the spoken version which I was able to play while travelling.  That too was a treat. It was beautifully read by the author.  BBC Radio 4 had also broadcast it in its series "Book of the Week" albeit in an abridged form.

I was sorry that the book has come to an end but it's one that just as a true mudlark returns to their favourite spots along the river that I will certainly read again.  Walking beside a river will never be the same again; this book has awakened my inner mudlark and I'm ready to get busy exploring.


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