The Thames : England's River, Paperback Book

The Thames : England's River Paperback

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The Thames is liquid history' John Burns MP (1858-1943) As the silver thread woven through Britain's centuries, the Thames is the subject of this significant biography.

Following its course, geologically and chronologically, THE THAMES will chart the growing importance of the river and some of the dramatic historic events it was central to.

Since Tudor times, the Thames has been a key factor in our understanding of the British nation.

At Runnymede, in a field by the river, England's barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.

At Tilbury, on the banks of the Thames, in 1588, Elizabeth exhorted her troops to defy the Spanish Armada.

In dockland, in east London, in 1940, local residents absorbed the full fury of Hitler's dreaded Luftwaffe.

Hitler tried, and failed, to destroy the Port of London, symbol of British commercial power, reservoir of the material needed to fuel and fund the British war effort.

This is a book about a river, but also about the evolution, though not always smooth, of a national identity.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages, Section: 8
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780349119298

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

This is not simply a book about the river, and definitely not just about London. The premise of the book is that the Thames is indeed "England's river", woven deeply into the history and "national consciousness" of England. The author admirably demonstrates this with rich examples of war, politics, engineering, revolution, art, poetry and much more from pre-Roman times to the modern era.My main complaint is that he sometimes labours the point. At the end of a chapter that speaks for itself, he still feels the need to spend a couple of pages reminding us, yet again, of his basic premise. Has he so little confidence in his writing that he feels we'll constantly miss his point? I would also note in passing that some of his writing is quite pretentious - a good candidate for Pseud's Corner in Private Eye.

Review by

Good, but the link to the Thames is overdone and overwrought at times.

Also by Jonathan Schneer   |  View all