ABOUT THE BOOK
Long heralded as a city treasure herself, expert “mudlarker” Lara Maiklem is uniquely trained in the art of seeking. Tirelessly trekking across miles of the Thames’ muddy shores, where others only see the detritus of city life, Maiklem unearths evidence of England’s captivating, if sometimes murky, history—with some objects dating back to 43 AD, when London was but an outpost of the Roman Empire. From medieval mail worn by warriors on English battlefields to nineteenth-century glass marbles mass-produced for the nation’s first soda bottles, Maiklem deduces the historical significance of these artifacts with the quirky enthusiasm and sharp-sightedness of a twenty-first century Sherlock Holmes.
Seamlessly interweaving reflections from her own life with meditations on the art of wandering, Maiklem ultimately delivers—for Anglophiles and history lovers alike—a memorable treatise on the objects we leave in our wake, and the stories they can reveal if only we take a moment to look.
PUBLISHED BY BLOOMSBURY
I listened to the audioversion of this book.
What a brilliantly informative and fascinating book! Read by the author herself, I loved listening to her stories from the banks of the Thames and it’s made me yearn to be a mudlarker!! I’d never heard of the term before I watched a programme on TV hosted by Jonny Vaughan and a mudlarker, and it just hooked my attention as a history fan, and in this book Lara has added more to the ways of a mudlarker and the history she and others have uncovered as they explore the banks of the River Thames.
As I live along the Estuary in Essex, this made it feel really relevant to me as places I know well are mentioned and the history is bought to life a little clearer. There are so many brilliant history snippets shared by Lara from things she’s found and learnt over the years she’s spent mudlarking, and how addictive it becomes to uncover a hidden piece of history that has laid there for hundreds of years.
It covers many topics including war, royal history, even toys found in the mud and features different parts of the thames with relevant bits of history related to that area and the changes that have occured over the years as the surrounding areas have changed. It’s clear to see that Lara and the mudlarking community she is part of are extremely proud of the work that they do and are excited to be custodians of unique pieces of history and love their ‘digging’ time! Where do I sign up to become a mudlark?!