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The Thames: England's River
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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.
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* Review coverage anticipated * Reading copies available

About the Author

Schneer received his B.A. and M.A. from McGill University and Ph.D. from Columbia University and is currently Professor of Modern British History at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He has written three books about British Labour and most recently a cultural history of London at the turn of the 20th century: LONDON 1900: THE IMPERIAL METROPOLIS.

Reviews

'This resplendent book combines a dramatist's empathy with people and a scholar's devotion to facts . . . A magnificent, multi-layered achievement, a 'must-read' for all lovers of London' Liza Picard, author of DR JOHNSON'S LONDON, RESTORATION LONDON and ELIZABETH'S LONDON 'Here is a rich and satisfying riverbank picnic of a book. The narrative sparkles and gurgles like the river itself' Robert Lacey, author of GREAT TALES FROM ENGLISH HISTORY *'Beautifully written, wide-ranging and rich in anecdote, Schneer's history of the nation's most famous river flows effortlessly, merging its waters with the ebb and flow of English history' John Brewer 'Elegantly recounted, with an eye for vivid detail that sticks in the mind' SUNDAY TIMES 'Schneer's tone throughout is engaging and his narrative fast-paced . . . There is much here to please anyone London enthusiast or not. Schneer has done a heroic job in compressing such a large and compelling story into such a tight volume' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'The clever way Schneer links the Thames to the development of the English nation, with a narrative style that twists and turns like the great river itself, sets it apart' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'Sinewy, compelling and great fun' Stephen Smith, OBSERVER 'Excellent' SUNDAY HERALD 'A pleasure to read . . . Scneer is a high stylist' Kathryn Hughes, GUARDIAN 'He paints a large canvas with considerable skill.' CONTEMPORARY REVIEW 'Written by an author with a great fondness for London, this is an easy to read account of the history that flows through one of Britain's most important rivers.' GLASGOW HERALD 'A lifetime of passionate and recondite involvement with his subject has gone into Schneer's present book.' LITERARY REVIEW 'Though hugely enjoyable and peopled with rich characters this is a suitable dark, brooding book.' BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE 'With the right amount of murkiness and swirling stories to reflect its subject matter, this serves up a fascinating history of the river.' SUNDAY EXPRESS

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