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The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys
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's review
Aug 12, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: justread-forfun
Read in August, 2009

Throughout history, the Thames River would freeze up through London (and occasionally beyond). The freezes were sporadic and unpredictable. They would change radically the life of London; bridges and buildings torn apart by ice, Ice Fairs offered opportunities to make unexpected money, ferrymen starving to death because no one required their services, feasts and parties drew the classes together and allowed for secret trysts. Humphreys tries to bring each freeze to the human level by creating a vignette with disparate characters for every icy event. Her historical research must have been immense. Some of the vignettes are more memorable than others, and this book is best read if you have some time to pause so that the events and people don't all begin to blend together. Her writing evokes the scents and sounds, taking you then and there. Linger, draw your own conclusions.

The Thames no longer freezes. Humans have "fixed" it.

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