The Way to the Sea by Caroline Crampton
The Way to the Sea : The Forgotten Histories of the Thames Estuary
Raised on its banks and an avid sailor, Caroline Crampton sets out to rediscover the enigmatic pull of the Thames by following its course from the river's source in a small village in Gloucestershire, through the short central stretch beloved of Londoners and tourists alike, to the point where it merges with the North Sea. As she navigates the river's ever-shifting tidal waters, she seeks out the stories behind its unique landmarks, from the vast Victorian pumping stations that carried away the capital's waste and the shiny barrier that holds the sea at bay, to the Napoleonic-era forts that stand on marshy ground as eerie relics of past invasions. In spellbinding prose, she reveals the histories of its empty warehouses and arsenals; its riverbanks layered with Anglo-Saxon treasures; and its shipwrecks, still inhabited by the ghosts of the drowned.
The Way to the Sea is at once a fascinating portrait of an iconic stretch of water and a captivating introduction to a new voice in British non-fiction.