The House by the Thames: and the People Who Lived There
ISBN No. 9780701175931
No.of pages 272
49 Bankside is an 18th century house, the last genuine survivor of what was once a long ribbon of houses overlooking the water. It still stands, opposite St Paul's Cathedral, and next door to the re-built Globe theatre and the new bridge, which takes pedestrians across the Thames to Tate Modern. Earlier, there was a medieval inn, the Cardinal's Hat, on the same site. Gillian Tindall makes the whole area - and its long history - live again. Here are the bear-baiting pits and the brothels, the priests' fish ponds and the bishop's underground prison (the 'Clink'), the theatres of Shakespeare's time, and the iron and coal businesses of the industrial revolution. Rich with anecdote and colour, empathetic, scholarly and textured, this is social history at its most enjoyable. Gillian Tindall excels at description and picking out the most fascinating details. Celebrities from history walk through her pages but her book is, above all, about the families who lived in the house and worked nearby - about those who made their living in boats on the Thames (a living constantly threatened by the building of bridges or the coming of steam-ships), about keeping 19th-century London supplied with gas, about girls at home sewing military uniforms. Readers will identify with these characters from the past, and will become deeply involved in the stories of their daily lives.
"A masterpiece of miniaturist
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