The history of the Thames in London is full of death and destruction, not just of people but the buildings along its banks and the bridges that span its murky depths which hide drownings, suicide and murder – including with a poisoned umbrella. This fascinating book tells the story of those who sailed to their doom, whether on infamous shipwrecks such as the Princess Alice or after travelling through Traitors' Gate to their execution like Anne Boleyn. It records the destruction of buildings through fires, bombs or collapse and also reveals the changes to the Thames' banks which saw an end to Frost Fairs and elephants walking across its thick ice...
As well as the notable and bizarre deaths, the murders and executions, the book explores the positive life-saving methods in place, including the Thames Barrier.
Did you know?
• The lights on London Bridge were made from cannons captured from Napoleon's fleet
• The Thames has been in the path of some of the most destructive fires in history, including the Great Fire of 1666 and the burning of Parliament in 1834
• 650 people died when the Princess Alice sank on a pleasure cruise – Britain's largest peacetime loss of life
• The many ghosts along the Thames include an executed baby farmer and Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's most notorious wife
• The polluted Thames has been beset by smells including The Great Stink of 1858, and The Big Smoke of 1952 which saw thousands die in the worst smog ever recorded in London
• Prisoners who were hanged at Execution Dock were taken to the pub first – a drunk man was less likely to struggle...
This is the first in the Death and Destruction series.
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