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Writing the Thames

Tuesday 5 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Author and journalist Christina Hardyment looks at the story of the River Thames through prose, poetry and illustration, including the true story behind Three Men in a Boat and The Wind in the Willows.

From the time that Julius Caesar boasted of crossing the Thames in his Gallic Wars to Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s 2012 celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee progress along the river, historians, novelists, travellers, naturalists and poets have sung the praises or shivered at the darkness of England’s famous river. Hardyment’s generously illustrated talk, based on her new book Writing the Thames, offers descriptions of tours along it in search of the picturesque, thrillers by Dickens and Sax Rohmer that cast it as a ‘highway of evil’, ballads celebrating revels on the ice and diarists’ records of botanical gardens on its banks and battles in its estuary. For good measure, she reveals the true story behind Three Men in a Boat and The Wind in the Willows.

Hardyment is author of many books including The World of Arthur Ransome and Dream Babies. She has also edited a series of anthologies including on pleasures of the garden and of the table. She sails an 11ft dinghy on the Thames.

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